Czech President Milos Zeman to visit China - PRESS


21.01.2014 08:41

Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman will pay an official visit to China in the autumn, the financial paper Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes today.


Český prezident Miloš Zeman. ČTK Němeček Pavel

It will be the second meeting of a Czech head of state with a Chinese opposite number.

Zeman's predecessor Vaclav Klaus paid a visit to China in 2004.

Now the Presidential Office is preparing the trip during which Zeman is to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, HN writes.

"Zeman has an invitation passed to him by Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Song Tao when he was received within the Czech-Chinese investment forum. We would like to use it in connection with the celebration of the 65th anniversary of bilateral relations this year," Hynek Kmonicek, head of the Presidential Office foreign affairs department, told the paper.

Zeman may have an informal meeting with Xi at the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 7 that both of them will attend, Kmonicek said.

HN writes Zeman's planned trip is good news for a number of Czech companies that want to expand to the rapidly growing Chinese market.

Given the Communist regime in the most populous country of the world, the quality of political relations is of major importance, HN writes.

"China may be a tough country in which one has to put up a great effort, but if the governments do not have good relations, the companies are harmed," Radek Spicar, vice president of the Confederation of Industry, is quoted as saying.

While the first Czech President Vaclav Havel was an outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist regime, Zeman, similarly to Klaus, stresses that advocating human rights must not harm Czech economic interests, HN writes.

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