A week ago, the president-elect of Czechia stunned Europe and the world when, with complete disregard to protocol, he telephoned Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen with words of encouragement.
Since then, the communist government has voiced outrage over what it considers a major breach of diplomatic protocol by President-elect Petr Pavel.
The call also has fueled speculation other world leaders might follow suit.
Czechia, which is more widely known in English as the Czech Republic, has full diplomatic relations with China, and under outgoing-President Milos Zeman, the country has full maintained a one-China policy.
But Pavel, a two-fisted retired army general and the first chairman of the NATO Military Committee from a former communist country, did not think diplomatic relations with China was enough to keep him from calling Tsai.
"Pavel ignored China's repeated attempts to dissuade him and our repeated representations," Mao Ning Mao, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, told reporters.
Mao went on to charge the president-elect with "stepping on China's red line, seriously interfering in China's domestic affairs, and hurting the feelings of the Chinese people."
In a move reminiscent of Donald Trump's call to Tsai while he was president-elect in 2016, Pavel initiated the call Jan. 30 and, according Reuters, "the two leaders stressed their countries' values of freedom, democracy, and human rights."
Pavel went a step further and told his Taiwanese counterpart he hoped to meet her in the future.
Sources close to the Tsai government told Newsmax that no other heads of state in countries that recognize China have made similar calls and "the relevant calls were mainly with President-elect Trump and President-elect Pavel."
"President-elect Pavel was technically not violating his country's one-China policy," Michael Cunningham, Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation's Asian Studies Center, told Newsmax.
He explained, like Trump when he was president-elect and made the call to Taiwan, Pavel was a private citizen and not yet head of state when he spoke to Tsai.
"Pavel is new to politics and the Chinese made their feelings known," Cunningham said. "The speaker of the Czech parliament will make a visit to Taiwan later in the year and that will have a far bigger impact than Pavel's call. But like the visits of members of Congress from the U.S. to Taiwan, it is not a violation of the one-China policy."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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