Ahead of the 30th anniversary of China’s crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, Radio Prague spoke to Filip Jirouš, coordinator the China-watching think tank Sinopsis, about the politics behind some of the more controversial aspects of business dealings between the countries. A harsh critic of China’s sweeping Belt and Road Initiative, to which the Czech Republic has signed on, and the main Chinese investment vehicle here, CEFC, he further argues allowing Huawei to roll out the 5G network would be a disaster.
Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Czech National Museum has rejected a gift of exceptional Chinese pottery worth some five million crowns. The museum also declined to send a representative at the weekend to an exhibition showcasing the pottery. While the museum rejected the gift on procedural grounds, the incident underscores concerns about opaque Chinese business practices and the communist country’s exercise of “soft power”.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, is set to meet
China’s ambassador to Prague in connection with reports that China is
cancelling events involving Czech arts organisations that have the word
Prague in their title.
The Czech minister of culture, Antonín Staněk, said after a meeting in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart that a tour involving the Prague Philharmonia could only go ahead if the ensemble expressed criticism of Prague’s mayor Zdeněk Hřib over statements he made that were not to Beijing’s liking.
Mr. Petříček said he would discuss the matter with Mr. Staněk but that if the reports were true it would be “unfortunate”.
President Miloš Zeman, who on Sunday winds up a four day official visit to
China, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for talks dominated by trade
The Czech head of state has been pushing to increase the level of Chinese investments in the Czech Republic which failed to meet expectations after the CEFC company, with which agreements were signed, became embroiled in scandal.
President Zeman also met with the head of state firm, CITIC, which took over CEFC’s Czech assets and said he was happy with the outcome of negotiations.
One of the highlights of the president’s sixth working visit to China was his address at the Belt and Road Forum, at which he came out strongly in defence of the company Huawei, saying it was victim of unfair competition and expressing the hope that it would be involved in building a 5G network in the Czech Republic.
President Miloš Zeman, who is on a four-day working visit to China, is to
attend the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on
The forum is attended by dozens of foreign leaders including Russian President Putin who is due to address the forum immediately after the Chinese president. President Zeman is due to present his address on Saturday.
On Friday the Czech head of state will be meeting with Czech and Chinese entrepreneurs and attend the signing of agreements on bilateral cooperation in the spheres of energy, aviation and hockey.
President Miloš Zeman is in China for another working visit, along with a trade delegation hoping to carve out slices of the world’s biggest market. Topping his public agenda is the “Belt and Road” summit on Beijing’s trillion-dollar project to boost trade and build infrastructure across Asia, Europe and Africa. In private, though, President Zeman’s talks are likely to centre on the low level of actual Chinese investment after five years of fanfare.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, sets off on a working visit to China on
Wednesday. He is due to hold meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping as
well as leading representatives of Huawei, Bank of China and CITIC. The
Czech authorities have identified Huawei products as a security threat but
Mr. Zeman says there is no proof of that. His delegation includes Czech
stars Jaromír Jágr and Pavel Nedvěd, who should cement closer sporting
ties with China, and the financier Pavel Tykač.
The Czech head of state has put great store in improving ties with the world’s most populous state and this is his sixth visit to the country since taking office.
A bust of the late Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is due to be unveiled at Prague’s DOX gallery this coming Monday. The ceremony is part of an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Among the guests will be Liu Xiaobo’s widow and two of the former student leaders.
Pressure is mounting for Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to recall Trade and Industry Minister Marta Nováková over a diplomatic incident that has highlighted China’s efforts to assert its influence in the Czech Republic. The revelation that a representative of Taiwan had been forced to leave a diplomatic meeting at the trade ministry at the request of the Chinese ambassador has sparked widespread criticism from politicians across-the-board.
Czech President Miloš Zeman will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin
again at the end of next month, Seznam Zprávy reported. The two leaders
are expected to hold informal talks while both are in the Chinese capital
Beijing. Mr. Zeman will be in China between April 23 and 28 on what will be
his fifth visit to the country as Czech head of state.
The Czech president has cultivated warm relations with Moscow and Beijing since his election six years ago.