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China treating Czech government like vassal, opposition says

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Prague, Oct 26 (CTK) – The reaction of Chinese diplomacy to the recent statement by Czech supreme elected officials that they have not strayed from the one-China policy after a visit by the Tibetan Dalai Lama is a message to subordinate vassals, Czech opposition leaders told journalists yesterday.
The statement was issued last Tuesday after Culture Minister Daniel Herman (KDU-CSL) and KDU-CSL chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek met the Tibetan Dalai Lama.
It was signed by President Milos Zeman, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the heads of the two houses of parliament, Milan Stech and Jan Hamacek (Chamber of Deputies), all three from the CSSD.
The statement speaks about respect for “the territorial integrity of the People’ s Republic of China of which Tibet is a part.”
The political leaders stated it would be unfortunate if the meeting of several politicians with the Dalai Lama were comprehended as a change in the Czech official one-China policy.
In its official reaction released last night, China said it now expected the Czech Republic to observe its promises.
Hamacek said China’s response was neutral.
“One only lacks the deadline by which the Czech Republic must start act accordingly so that the Chinese are not angry,” TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek said.
“Our four senior officials humiliated the nation, now forcing it to accept the humiliating statement from a country with an undemocratic regime,” he added.
Elections are a way with which to change the policy of servility, Kalousek said.
The Chinese embassy accused the Dalai Lama of anti-Chinese separatist activities and protested against any state officials’ contacts with him.
Hamacek said the China’s response was similar to those exchanged between EU countries.
This is certainly no raised finger as claimed by the opposition, he added.
“The Czech Republic is a sovereign state and if it wants to have some relations with China, they should have a fair foundation,” Ondrej Benesik, a deputy for the government Christian Democrats, said.
“This statement really seems to say that we are China’s vassals,” Benesik said.
In the case of the Czech officials’ statement, the Czech Republic was too obliging, he added.
“I think that we ought to have kept a certain distance and a stronger national pride,” Benesik said.

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