Monday, 19 August 2019

PM Sobotka lobbies for ČR as China's foothold in Europe

ČTK |
27 November 2015

PM Bohuslav Sobotka lobbied yesterday for Prague to become China's foothold in Eastern Europe in terms of finances, transport and industry cooperation and also debated bilateral relations, world terrorism and the situation in Syria with President Xi Jinping.

Beijing, Nov 26 (CTK special correspondent) - Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka lobbied yesterday for Prague to become China´s foothold in Eastern Europe in terms of finances, transport and industry cooperation and also debated bilateral relations, world terrorism and the situation in Syria with President Xi Jinping.
Still before their Beijing meeting, Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) signed an agreement on the Czech joining the Chinese One Belt, One Road initiative aimed to promote trade between Europe and China.
The agreement has also been signed by Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia so far.
Within the agreement, Prague wants to pursue three priorities - to make the Czech Republic a transport centre for China in Central and Eastern Europe and a financial centre for Chinese banks and their expansion in the region, and develop Chinese-Czech industrial cooperation mainly in enhancing science, research and innovations.
At the beginning of his meeting with Xi Jinping, Sobotka said the Czech Republic, the EU and also China are now faced with serious threats such as terrorism which must be fought with joint effort.
He said a joint solution to the complicated situation in Syria must also be sought in cooperation.
After the meeting, Sobotka said he used the opportunity of talking to the president of the People´s Republic of China to ask him for support for the peace process in Syria.
"I think it is important for the crucial countries, which are also permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, to cooperate on solving the Syrian crisis," Sobotka said.
He said he has asked China to be active within the steps to be targeted against international terrorism.
Sobotka said he and Xi Jinping mainly discussed Czech-Chinese relations and cooperation, including in the sports area.
China will host winter Olympics in 2022. The Chinese are interested in cooperation with the Czechs in order to improve their performance in selected winter sports, Sobotka said, mentioning ice hockey and biathlon in this connection, Sobotka said, adding that cooperation in football was also discussed.
He and Xi Jinping discussed the strategic partnership between the two countries that is to be signed during the Chinese president´s visit to the Czech Republic next year.
It will be the first visit by a Chinese president to Prague since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.
Xi Jinping called Sobotka a friend of the Chinese people.
He said bilateral relations between the two countries saw worse times, but now, they are dynamic again and they are constantly expanding.
Sobotka subsequently said yesterday´s meeting "confirmed the dynamic development of Czech-Chinese relations."
He conveyed greetings to Xi Jinping from Czech President Milos Zeman who visited China last year and this year.
Sobotka has been visiting China since Sunday. He first had talks in Shanghai. Afterwards in Suzhou, he took part in a summit of the 16+1 platform that brings together representatives of China and 16 central, east and south-east European countries.
On Friday, he will meet his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in Beijing.
The major priorities of Sobotka´s visit to China include the development of bilateral cooperation in the economy, health care, tourism, energy and industry.
He is accompanied by Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek, representatives from other ministries and a strong delegation of businesspeople.
ms,rtj/mr/hol,kva

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