published: 11.09.2012, 18:28 | updated: 11.09.2012 18:37:25
Prague/Brno - This is the beginning of a necessary public debate on the relation of foreign and export policies as an anti-recession factor, Jan Kohout, head of the Mixed Czech-Chinese Chamber, said today, reacting to Prime Minister Petr Necas dismissing support to Dalai Lama.
Fashionable political signs such as support to the Russian group Pussy Riot and Tibetan Dalai Lama harm Czech exports, but support to human rights must remain crucial in the Czech foreign policy, Necas (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) said on Tuesday, provoking a public outcry and protest by Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09).
"The adoration of Dalai Lama is not any support to freedom and democracy," Necas added.
This means adoring a regime that probably would not have a democractic character and would have a "semi-feudal, theocratic character with strong authoritarian elements," Necas said.
He said the Czech Republic supported the policy of one China.
"As the industry and trade minister, I can say that we should start rapidly and seriously discussing the Czech Republic's relation to some countries in the government," Martin Kuba (ODS) said.
Kuba said he had sensed at the international engineering trade in Brno that some foreign political positions were harmful and complicated access to foreign markets.
Kuba said an alternative should be found that would take into account the Czech Republic's position to the protection of human rights, but would not be any obstacle to Czech companies.
Kohout, a former foreign minister, said Czech-Chinese relations had been on the worst level of all EU countries for a long time.
This has brought about an unused potential of trade exchange as well as economic, scientific and other cooperation, Kohout said.
"I do not presume that a single statement, albeit made by a prime minister, will have an immediate positive impact on the relations with China," Kohout said.
"For this, a harmony of the whole government, of all its members is necessary," he added.
The chamber, that includes the groups PPF and J&T, the CEZ national power company and the Chinese Huawei, was established 2011. It wants to help "all-sided development of trade between Czech and Chinese businesses."
Necas's statement that support for the Tibetan Dalai Lama or the Russian activists Pussy Riot may harm Czech exports is very unfortunate and it may challenge the orientation of Czech foreign policy, TOP 09 leadership said today.
Necas's statements were also denounced as unacceptable and unfortunate by the Czech PEN club.
According to Czech statistics, the Czech Republic exported goods worth 1.6 billion dollars to China in 2011, while the import reached 18.9 billion dollars.
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