Czech government aims to reset relations with China
The Czech government want to reset relations with China in an attempt to boost trade between the two countries. Just days before the first visit of a Czech foreign minister to Beijing in 15 years, Czech government officials announced they would adopt EU policy towards the communist country, and would no longer question its occupation of Tibet.
“If we want to get our relations with China on the same level as other EU member states, we want to follow the principles of the EU’s joint policy towards China. That includes, among other things, the One-China policy, the inseparability of Tibet, and the principle of non-intervention in China’s domestic affairs.”
“Our relations with China have been frozen on the ministerial level. There have been no political contacts at the top level which is something we want to change now. It’s not just one trip to China; the visit should pave the way for normal political relations and more visits in the future, including those of the Czech prime minister and president. This is a new era.”
The Czech government’s new course towards China has been welcomed by industry associations. Several human rights groups including People in Need and Amnesty International, meanwhile, have criticized the move. People in Need’s director Šimon Pánek said the foreign minister’s mission could take place without such “embarrassing pandering”.
“I think that if want to have more business interaction with China, we need more people-to-people contacts, we need more business missions to China, more scientific cooperation, and maybe even channel some governmental funds into this area that would help us create this relationship.”