Rome: The election of retired general Petr Pavel as Czech President has cast its "shadow on the diplomatic ties between the Czech Republic and China," reported. Petr Pavel, who is considered as pro-West and pro-Ukraine, has openly sided with Taiwan, which China claims is part of its territory.

Former army general and former chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military committee Pavel said that Prague would "seek to deepen its cooperation in all areas with Taiwan," as per the news report.

Petr Pavel held talks with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and said that the self-ruled island is a "reliable partner" of Czech for cooperation in all sectors. The call has already angered China, which described the move as a breach of its sovereignty, as per the report. He has further infuriated China when he said that Ukraine would be "morally and practically ready" to become part of the Western alliance once the conflict had ended.

President-elect Petr Pavel said that Ukraine should be allowed to become part of NATO "as soon as the war is over." It is pertinent to note here that China opposed the idea of Ukraine joining NATO. Days after the Ukraine conflict in March last year, China had warned the US it could face consequences, including the prospect of nuclear war if it allows Ukraine to become part of NATO.

China had warned that allowing Ukraine into the military alliance could lead to an escalating in the conflict. Diplomatic experts indicated that it could be a signal of cracks emerging in China's ties with central and eastern Europe.

The Czech Republic has official ties with China and only informal economic and cultural ties with Taiwan. However, Pavel's telephonic conversation with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has marked an unprecedented departure from decades of diplomatic practice, as per the news report.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala also came out in support of the president-elect, report. Fiala said that Czech policy towards China remains unchanged and is in harmony with the policy of Czech allies. Fiala stressed that China is a trade partner, however, the Czech Republic also has good ties with Taiwan in economy, education and research.

Pavel has echoed sentiments of political leadership with respect to Taiwan, GeoPolitica.Info reported citing foreign affairs experts, as per the news report. The Czech cabinet has repeatedly expressed its interest in cooperating with Taiwan, with respect to Taiwan's democratic character. Outgoing Czech President, Milos Zeman, had maintained a pro-Chinese stance, however, things will change in the days to come.