Czech Senate rejects pro-China gov’t statement during Dalai Lama’s Oct’16 visit

The Senate of the Czech Republic.
The Senate of the Czech Republic.

(, Dec03, 2016) – The Senate of the Czech Republic has on Nov 30 distanced itself from a pro-China statement issued by its leader along with the other House’s leader, the country’s President, and the Prime Minister on Oct 18 during the visit of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. A resolution to this effect, proposed by the opposition Civic Democrats (ODS), was passed after a three-hour debate with the votes of 38 of the 69 senators present, reported Dec 1.

Apart from the Civic Democrats, the resolution was supported by senators belonging to the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), the minor partner in the coalition government, as well as those from the opposition Mayors and Independents (STAN), who labelled the Oct 18 statement as servile and kowtowing to China.

Senators from the two main governing parties, the CSSD and ANO, were reported to have voted against the resolution.

The Oct 18 statement from the country’s four top constitutional officials had come after the Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek and Culture Minister Daniel Herman (KDU-CSL), joined by the deputy leaders of the two Houses of the Czech parliament, officially met the Tibetan Dalai Lama in Prague. The statement reiterated the Czech government’s recognition of Tibet as part of China and continued, “The private activities of some Czech politicians do not signal a change in the Czech Republic’s official policy and we would consider it unfortunate if someone perceived them as such.”

The Senate was also reported to have passed another resolution on the same day, proposed by the STAN senators. It bound all Senate representatives to actively defend the human rights of people in China and Tibet in international negotiations and called on the Czech government to coordinate its foreign political positions and cooperation with President Zeman and the Chamber of Deputies. This resolution was supported by senators from the ruling CSSD and ANO as well.

Both President Milos Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) have criticized the Senate resolution, calling it political.


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