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News site: China urged Czech ministers not to meet Dalai Lama

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Prague/Beijing, Oct 20 (CTK) – The Chinese Foreign Ministry told Czech Ambassador to Beijing, Bedrich Kopecky, on Tuesday that Czech official representatives and especially government members should avoid any meeting with the Tibetan Dalai Lama, the news server writes on Thursday.

Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova told the server that the Chinese diplomacy said the territorial integrity of China was a very sensitive issue.

Lagronova said the Chinese diplomacy warned Kopecky that a possible challenging of China’s territorial integrity would have a negative impact on the developing bilateral relations and cooperation.

The Czech politicians who planned to meet the Dalai Lama had meetings him anyway. Among others, Culture Minister Daniel Herman, Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek (both Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) and Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD) talked to the Dalai Lama who took part in the Forum 2000 conference in Prague this week.

The four supreme constitutional officials subsequently issued a statement saying that the Czech Republic respects the territorial integrity of China, including Tibet.

Lagronova said Kopecky told Chinese diplomats that Dalai Lama was on a private visit in Prague and that the Czech Republic makes a difference between the official and private programmes of the government members and that the Foreign Ministry does not comment on their private programmes.

“Our ambassador assured the Chinese diplomats that the Czech Republic does not make any change to its policy of one China. He said Prague is aware of the important of the Tibetan question and supports a dialogue between the central administration and the Tibetan community,” Lagronova said.

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