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Chinese diplomat unable to explain cancelled trip

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Prague, Nov 3 (CTK) – Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa said Chinese Ambassador to Prague, Ma Keqing, was unable to explain to him the cancellation of the Czech Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka’s trip to China at their meeting on Thursday.

He said the ambassador probably does not know the reason why Chinese ministers cancelled the planned talks with Jurecka.

Tlapa said a new date of Jurecka’s visit will be sought.

On Wednesday, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said he is concerned about the cancelled meeting.

He said he believes that China will meet the commitments to the Czech Republic that ensue from the Czech-Chinese strategic partnership. The Czech Republic has been fulfilling its commitments to China, he said.

Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said China pledged to help balance the deficit between the exports and imports. Agricultural products are those that can help do it, he added, referring to Jurecka’s visit.

From January to August, Chinese exports to the Czech Republic reached 276 billion crowns, while Czech exports to China were only 29 billion crowns.

Jurecka said two days ago that the Chinese declared that the meetings were cancelled for reasons obvious to both sides.

Jurecka is an advocate of Culture Minister Daniel Herman (both Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) who officially met the Tibetan Dalai Lama in Prague in October. Czech politicians expect this to be the reason behind the cancellation of his trip to China.

Some Czech politicians criticised Herman for the meeting, saying he threatened Czech-Chinese relations. The four highest state officials issued a statement declaring that no change has been made in Czech foreign policy in relation to China.

China considers the Dalai Lama a separatist who seeks Tibet’s independence and it criticises foreign politicians who meet the Tibetan spiritual leader, a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

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