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HN: Zeman like Klaus embraces China, Russia, but rejects West

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Prague, March 31 (CTK) – A second Czech president in a row, Milos Zeman, rejects, ridicules, relativises, challenges, offends, breaks down anything coming from the West, the USA and EU, while eagerly opening his arms to Russia and China, Tomas Sedlacek writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) yesterday.
The president who did the same before Zeman was Vaclav Klaus.
Sedlacek writes that the servility and the pioneer-like enthusiastic welcome prepared for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who visited the Czech Republic on Monday-Wednesday, has been unprecedented since the fall of the communist regime in 1989.
He writes that such a tomfoolery did not even accompany the visits of Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama.
Is China or Russia large? Should this mean that the Czechs will court all the large? But the United States and Germany are also large, Sedlacek writes.
Though they are much more distinctive partners of the Czechs, the Czechs do not have to kowtow to them because no one requires this, Sedlacek writes and adds that partnership cannot be built on this.
Partnership can only be built on mutual respect, equal exchange of opinions and learning from one another, including reprimanding one another. Not that the Chinese embassy will officially reprove Culture Minister Daniel Herman for his opinions.
Herman said the value of human rights cannot be swapped for economic profit in connection with a minute of silence that the lower house of Czech parliament observed on March 10 in remembrance of the uprising for Tibet’s independence of China.
Sedlacek writes that this is not how equality-based relations look like.
When a close aide to Klaus issued a book in which he directly blames the United States itself of the terrorist attacks on the Twins and the Pentagon, did anyone from the United States say anything? No pressure, no diktat followed, Sedlacek writes.
The EU and the United States can be criticised overtly, which is not true of Russia and China because revenge threatens to follow criticism, Sedlacek writes.
This puts the Czech Republic into a situation where it feels diktat where it has a fully-fledged influence, while it feels fascination and an opportunity where it has no influence, Sedlacek writes and adds that this is perversion.
He is alluding to Zeman’s interview with the Chinese state television in which he criticised the policy pursued by the previous centre-right government of Petr Necas which, he said, was under the influence of the United States and the EU.
Sedlacek writes that in 2014 already he asked whether it is reasonable to worsen the Czech Republic’s relations with 96 percent of importers where Russia accounts for about 3 percent of Czech exports and China for one.
Putting ideology aside, this is unreasonable even from the point of view of a small-sized business, Sedlacek writes.
He writes that he has nothing against trading with China or Russia, but is opposed to kowtowing and letting himself be fed with the anti-European and anti-American ideology through the Czech president.

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