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Czech PM Sobotka meets his Chinese counterpart in Riga

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Riga, Nov 5 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) shortly talked to his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang within the summit of 16 Central and Eastern European countries and China in Riga Saturday.
However, they did not touch upon the recent cancellation of the meeting with Czech Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) by Chinese ministers. The Foreign Ministry is dealing with the affair, Sobotka said.
The Czech and Chinese governments also signed a bilateral plan of cooperation within the Silk Road initiative Saturday.
The meeting with Li Keqiang lasted about ten minutes, and consequently, it was not possible to discuss details, Sobotka said.
Sobotka and his Chinese counterpart agreed on a particular cooperation plan. Sobotka therefore assessed Czech-Chinese relations as good.
Jurecka announced this week that he would not leave for a planned visit to China since its ministers had cancelled their planned talks without announcing the reasons. The Chinese ambassador to Prague did not know them either.
However, before the meetings in China were called off, Jurecka supported his fellow party member, Culture Minister Daniel Herman (KDU-CSL), in the case of his meeting with the Tibetan Dalai Lama, which China sharply criticised.
Sobotka said he considered agriculture one of the priorities in the development of relations with China.
Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (CSSD) also called on China to support import of Czech farming products on Wednesday. He said he hoped that both countries would continue in what had been included in the agreement on strategic partnership with China, signed in March.
The Czech Republic and China set cooperation priorities in the areas of infrastructure, investments, science and research within the plan of their bilateral cooperation that representatives of both countries’ foreign ministries signed in Riga Saturday, the Government Office said in a press release.
The plan also reflects the goal to turn the Czech Republic into a transport and logistic intersection between China and some parts of Europe.

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