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Czech senior officials criticised over servility to China

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Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – By their statement on official policy towards China Czech senior elected officials yielded to the pressure of a foreign state, Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and STAN senators wrote in an open letter to Senate chairman Milan Stech (Social Democrats, CSSD) yesterday.
The officials did so for the sake of potential trade benefits and they sacrificed their own citizens’ pride and self-assurance, the letter said.
The senators wrote that Stech could have overstepped his powers when signing the document on behalf of the Senate, although the statement was not debated in the upper house of the Czech parliament.
In reaction to the criticism, Stech said he agreed with the statement he signed because it corresponds to the principles of strategic partnership between the Czech Republic and China.
The statement was issued last Tuesday after Culture Minister Daniel Herman (KDU-CSL) and KDU-CSL chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek met the Tibetan Dalai Lama.
The statement was signed by President Milos Zeman and by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the heads of the two houses of parliament, Stech and Jan Hamacek (Chamber of Deputies), all from the CSSD.
The statement speaks about respect for “the territorial integrity of the People’ s Republic of China of which Tibet is a part.”
The political leaders stated it would be unfortunate if the meeting of several Czech politicians with the Dalai Lama were comprehended as a change in the Czech official one-China policy.
“We sharply protest against the act. We protest all the more because all the four supreme elected officials failed to fulfil their duty to defend their citizens against the pressure of a foreign power,” the letter, signed by chairmen of both groups, Petr Silar and Jan Hornik, said.
The statement had an “incredible servile form” and it was released in the interest of a country that “permanently breaches human rights and is no guarantee of security for liberally democratic countries,” the letter said.
“In doing so, you have presented our country as a fearful and not independent society,” they added.
Stech reacted to them saying the criticised statement only reflected the Czech-Chinese strategic partnership declaration which the two countries’ presidents signed in Prague in March.
“I am unaware of any member of the present government having rejected or challenged the March declaration. Similarly, the text of the statement of four elected officials from October 18 does not divert from Czech official foreign policy as pursued by the Czech governments since 1993,” Stech said in a press release this evening.
He said he will address a more detailed answer to the letter signatories.
pv,rtj/dr/rtj

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