Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu will make a previously unannounced visit to Europe next week, four sources briefed on the matter said, and is expected to appear with the Czech president at one event in a diplomatic breakthrough.

Taiwan, which is claimed by China, has no formal diplomatic ties with any European country except the Vatican. Beijing regularly denounces any form of contact between Taiwanese and foreign officials, viewing it as encouraging global recognition of Taiwan's separate status from China.

But there are extensive informal relations, and Central and Eastern European countries have been particularly keen to show support for Taiwan — especially following Russia's invasion of Ukraine — defying Beijing's anger about such contacts and lessening Taiwan's international diplomatic isolation.