Babiš: Chinese ambassador lied over “Huawei meeting”

The Chinese ambassador to Prague, Zhang Jianmin, lied about a meeting he had with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš just before Christmas, the latter says. Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, Mr. Babiš said both the Czech government and state had behaved correctly with regard to a warning from the National Bureau for Cyber Security and Information that products made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE presented a security risk.

After the PM met Mr. Zhang the Chinese Embassy issued a statement saying that the warning was unfounded and that it took cognizance of the fact the Czech side was striving to make amends for its errors in this regard. This was subsequently interpreted as an apology from the head of the Czech government.

Mr. Babiš on Sunday described this suggestion as “nonsense and a lie”. He told Czech TV that the Czech Republic was a sovereign state and had nothing to apologise about, adding that Mr. Zhang’s actions were highly unorthodox.

The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, is due to meet the Chinese ambassador to discuss the matter, the PM said.

Author: Ian Willoughby