Minister Zaorálek in China: We Have Opened a New Stage of Relations
01.05.2014 / 12:31
Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek paid an official visit to China. It was the first visit by the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs to China after fifteen years and came about in the year when the two countries commemorate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of their mutual diplomatic relations.
During his visit Minister Zaorálek met with State Councillor for Foreign Affairs Mr. Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Wang Yi, the Chairman of China National Tourism Administration Mr. Shao Qiwei and the Executive Deputy Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan.
The Czech and Chinese Foreign Ministers issued a joint press statement which commemorates this year's 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In the statement they expressed hope to strengthen mutual dialogue and exchange between the two countries at all levels.
Minister Zaorálek perceives his China visit as an important political impetus to the relation between the two countries that has entered a new stage. "Our goal is to fundamentally strengthen our relationship with China as a global power at the political, economic and cultural level," the Minister said. He added that in this manner a new chapter of Czech-Sino relations have begun. Other high level visits to China are planned for this year. Specific proposals of contacts in the economic field were suggested as well. In 2014 the meeting of the Intergovernmental Joint Economic Committee and China Investment Forum will be held in Prague. "I'm glad we have talked about enhanced cooperation at all levels: governmental, parliamentary as well as regional," the Minister said.
During the ministerial meeting Minister Zaorálek has repeatedly opened the topic of support and protection of human rights. Over the lunch both ministers discussed the international political issues, especially the Ukraine crisis and the situation in North Korea. One of the key issues of the visit to China was promotion of trade and investment. Topics such as the establishment of Technological park in the Czech Republic and the identification of key sectors for economic cooperation were discussed.
As Minister Zaorálek stated, the Czech Republic has a lot to offer to China in various spheres, such as health care, environmental protection, civil aviation and new technologies. "Quality of life in a broader sense is a key topic in China today and the Czech companies have a good opportunity to offer interesting solutions and modern technology," the Minister said.
The Czech Republic is also interested in attracting more Chinese tourists. Therefore the possible establishment of direct flights between the two countries, which would attract more tourists, was also one of the topics discussed between Minister Zaorálek and his counterpart. In this regard Minister Zaorálek also mentioned Czech Republic´s friendly, swift and transparent visa policy towards the Chinese visa applicants.