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Slovak press: Czechs overlook human rights for business interests

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Bratislava, March 30 (CTK) – The Czech Republic turns a blind eye to human rights being abused by the Chinese communist regime for the sake of business, Slovak daily Sme writes on a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Czech Republic, which ends yesterday.
Xi Jinping’s three-day visit to Prague is a result of a change in Czech foreign policy the architect of which is President Milos Zeman, Sme writes, hinting at Zeman’s previous statements in an interview with the Chinese television station CCTV.
In it, Zeman criticised the policy of the previous centre-right government of Petr Necas which, he said, was under the influence of the United States and the EU.
This statement “symbolises nothing but the end of the ‘post-communist’ consensus on a clear Euro-Atlantic orientation” of the country, Sme writes.
“Zeman’s courting and servile kowtowing to the Chinese mandarins, as well as the leading role of the capital of (the Chinese investment group) CEFC, whose origin is non-transparent, dubious go far across the framework of ‘acceptable pragmatism,'” Sme writes.
Dennik N writes that the stance of leading Slovak and Czech politicians to China’s representatives are similar. It writes that in 2009, former Slovak president Ivan Gasparovic did not mention human rights during a visit of former Chinese president Hu Jintao to Bratislava.
“Investments are a long-term priority for Milos Zeman, but he expressed his liking for his guest even more clearly – with two visits to Beijing, the admiration for the stability of the country and quite a fresh statement that the relations between China and the Czech Republic were very bad because the former Czech government succumbed to the pressure of the United States and the European Union,” the daily writes.
The server writes that the enthusiasm accompanying the Chinese president’s Czech visit is redundant work.
“Common working methods of businesspeople suffice where business and economic partnership are at play. The Czech Republic is (still) a member country of the EU and a country in which communism is a synonym for oppression and lack of freedom,” the server writes.
It describes the welcome for Xi Jinping in Prague as pompous.
Daily Pravda writes that the Czech Republic has become a gate to Central Europe for the Chinese.
It mentions the CEFC group’s investments in the Czech Republic and its effort to gain a 50 percent stake in the J&T and Penta financial groups that own big assets not only in the Czech Republic, but also in Slovakia.

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