Czech PM stresses economic interest to ignore Tibet issue


(, Apr25, 2014) – The government of the Czech Republic has made it clear that in order to improve relations with China for the sake of the country’s economy, it will not criticize the occupation of Tibet, nor will it recognise the exile Tibetan government, reported the country’s CTK news agency Apr 24. The report said the remark was made to reporters by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) after a cabinet meeting.

The report said the Czech cabinet also wanted to see a boost in Chinese investments in the country.

The decision has been criticized by the opposition TOP 09 chairman and former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg who said the government had traded the protection of human rights for money.

Sobotka has said his country will follow the EU’s common approach of one China policy, with Tibet as its inseparable part. Germany, France and Britain have signed strategic contracts with Beijing and the Czech Republic must catch up with them, he has added.

Further underlining the economic logic for improving relations with China by ignoring the Tibet issue, Sobtka has told reporters, “We are a country dependent on the export of our goods and services. And it is immensely important to secure further new markets for our products.”

The prime minister’s comments meant that Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek’s (CSSD) will not raise human rights or Tibet issues during his forthcoming visit to China, beginning Apr 27, which the cabinet approved during the meeting. This will be the first official visit by a Czech foreign minister in China after 15 years.


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