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Mutual relations between the Czech Republic and the People´s Republic of China - present and history

Czechoslovakia and the Republic of China mutually recognised each other on June 18th, 1919. Diplomatic relations were established on December 5th, 1930. On October 4th, 1949 Czechoslovakia recognised the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and established diplomatic relations with this new state entity. The PRC recognized and established diplomatic relations with the Czech Republic (CR) on January 1st, 1993.

Czechoslovakia and the Republic of China mutually recognised each other on June 18th, 1919. Diplomatic relations were established on December 5th, 1930. On October 4th, 1949 Czechoslovakia recognised the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and established diplomatic relations with this new state entity. The PRC recognized and established diplomatic relations with the Czech Republic (CR) on January 1st, 1993.

Ambassador of the CR in the PRC:   Mr. Libor Sečka - since October 16th, 2009 (presentation of credentials on January 11th, 2010).
Ambassador of the PRC in the CR:   Mr. Yu Qingtai – since September 5th, 2010 (presentation of credentials on September 17th, 2010).
GC Shanghai:     Consul General Mr. Michal Kuzmiak - since September 2012
GC Hong Kong:    Consul General Mr. Jaroslav Kantůrek - since December 2009

The current mutual relations between the CR and the PRC develop without significant problems, within the framework determined by differences in political systems and geographical size. The CR alone can hardly be compared to the PRC as far as its size and influence on international affairs are concerned. Its position, however, is significantly strengthened by the international importance of the whole European Union of which the CR is a member since 2004.

On the basis of the common EU position, the CR actively engages in interaction with the PRC also in multilateral fora, such as the UN system, the EU-ASEAN+3 events or at the events and activities within the framework of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The CR, together with the entire EU, implements its One China policy. The CR does not have established diplomatic relations with Taiwan; but they cooperate on an unofficial level, especially in the fields of economy, trade, culture, education, science and tourism.

An official visit to the PRC by Václav Klaus, President of the CR, and his wife took place in April 2004. The Presidential visit was followed by a visit of then Prime Minister of the CR, Jiří Paroubek in June 2005. The President of the State Council (=government) of the PRC Wen Jiabao was on an official visit to the CR in December 2005. The President of the House of Deputies of the Parliament of the CR, Lubomír Zaorálek, visited the PRC with a business mission in February 2006. Another short working visit to the PRC was made by President Václav Klaus and his business mission during their Asian tour in September 2006. The Vice-Premier of the State Council of the PRC, Hui Liangyu, visited the CR in April 2006 and the Secretary General of the State Council of the PRC, Hua Jianmin, in January 2008. Bilateral meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CR, Karel Schwarzenberg, and of the PRC, Yang Jiechi, took place shortly after the appointment of both ministers to their posts, in the margins of the Foreign Ministers´ ASEM gathering in Hamburg in May 2007. Vice-Premier of the CR responsible for EU affairs, Alexander Vondra, held a bilateral meeting with Minister Yang Jiechi in October 2008, in the margins of the ASEM-7 Summit in Beijing. In May 2009, Premier Wen Jiabao met with Czech President Václav Klaus as well as Prime Minister Jan Fischer as the hosts of the EU-China Summit in Prague. President Klaus met Premier Wen Jiabao once again on October 4th,2010 in Brussels in the margins of ASEM8. An invitation for the President of the PRC to visit the CR is outstanding.  On the background of the EXPO 2010 exhibition, couple of CR ministers visited PRC.

Inter-parliamentary exchanges are taking place both bilaterally as well as through the European Parliament (often with the participation of Czech MEPs). From August 20th to August 31st, 2010, a delegation of the Committee on Public Administration, Regional Development and the Environment of the Senate of the CR with its Chairman I. Bárek and led by the Vice-President of the Senate M. Štěch visited China. 

In 2011, several representatives of the Czech Republic visited PRC on the background of some multilateral events, i.e. Mrs. Sehnalová, Czech member of the European Parliament, or representatives of CR Parliament Mr. Farský, Mr. DOubrava and Mr. Krejča.

High numbers of working visits and direct mutual contacts of many non-governmental entities including the universities in various areas prove the continuing interest on both sides. The CR presented itself very well at the 2010 EXPO in Shanghai by both pavilion of the Czech Republic and the pavilion of its capital city Prague. The celebrations of the Czech National Day on May 17th,2010 took place in the presence of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Kohout. A number of other events related to the Czech participation at the EXPO were, in cooperation of the Czech Embassy in Beijing, organised also in other areas of China. Then, the Czech EXPO pavilion was bought and re-installed on its premises by the Sino-Czech-Slovak Friendship Farm in the Hebei province. As part of the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations, mirroring cultural festivals of the PRC in the CR and the CR in the PRC took place at the end of 2009 and in the spring 2010. .

Economic cooperation is still the centre of gravity for current Sino-Czech bilateral relations. Despite significant activity at the political level, the trade balance, however, continues to evolve to the detriment of the CR, due to bureaucratic obstacles and other technical specificities of the Chinese territory. Like many other European small and middle-scale business entities, the Czech companies tend to show increasing hesitation vis-à-vis investment, trade or development cooperation in the PRC, which is a result of previous negative experience with poor protection of their patent rights and other intellectual property rights here. Improvement of situation in this area is therefore one of the main priorities of the Czech political representation with regard to the PRC.

Given the different proportions and capacities of both countries, the desirable perspective of further Czech and Chinese mutual relationships lays in direct cooperation between their regions and provinces as well as cities. Many activities took place in this direction especially in recent years, after the visits at the highest level have set up the political framework for them. Besides the traditional sectors of cooperation, new chances emerge in fields of progressive environmental and energy technologies, but also in area of financial services or health and social insurance system building, where the PRC can, also with the help of the projects of the European Commision, gain significantly from experience of the Czech Republic in her successful economic and social transformation.

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