Czech foreign minister on business mission in China

The Czech foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, on Monday began a three-day visit to Beijing aimed at improving relations with China in an attempt to boost trade between the two countries and attract Chinese investors to the Czech Republic. The two sides are expected to sign a proclamation with which Prague will commit itself not to question the occupation of Tibet. The Czech government’s decision, driven by the need to diversify the country’s business interests and break its export dependence on the EU has come under fire from human rights activists. Czech government officials counter that Prague is only adopting the official EU policy line towards China. It is the first visit to Beijing by a Czech foreign minister in 15 years.