Ahead of the 30th anniversary of China’s crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, Radio Prague spoke to Filip Jirouš, coordinator the China-watching think tank Sinopsis, about the politics behind some of the more controversial aspects of business dealings between the countries. A harsh critic of China’s sweeping Belt and Road Initiative, to which the Czech Republic has signed on, and the main Chinese investment vehicle here, CEFC, he further argues allowing Huawei to roll out the 5G network would be a disaster.
Czech-Burmese relations are getting closer. That was the main message of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate turned State Counsellor of Myanmar, during her visit to Prague this week. Leading Czech dignitaries have hosted the Burmese head of government with both sides stressing the aim to establish closer business ties as top of the agenda.
Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Czech National Museum has rejected a gift of exceptional Chinese pottery worth some five million crowns. The museum also declined to send a representative at the weekend to an exhibition showcasing the pottery. While the museum rejected the gift on procedural grounds, the incident underscores concerns about opaque Chinese business practices and the communist country’s exercise of “soft power”.
A recent conference on business and investment opportunities in Africa organized by the Czech Foreign Ministry, focused on innovative forms of investment and modern technologies. Titled “Creative, Innovative and Participative Africa” the event brought together ambassadors and business representatives, underlining Czech interest in establishing new partnerships and projects on the African continent. I spoke to Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa about the opportunities opening up, the risks involved and what the Czech government is doing to help
Czech doctors and medical experts are helping abroad. Within the government program MEDEVAC they provide urgent humanitarian aid in countries such as Jordan and Ukraine. You can also find medical devices Made in Czechia all over the world. This small country is definitely punching above its weight on the global scene when it comes to health expertise and technology.
Diplomats, military officers and experts gathered at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday to discuss energy security and future challenges facing the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance. While discussing what the alliance may be up against 70 years from now, some argued that the impacts of climate change are likely to be the main threat.
The Czech Centres in London and New York are getting new directors this spring, with Přemysl Pela assuming control in the UK capital and Miroslav Konvalina taking the helm in the Big Apple. We spoke to both before their departure for the key branches of the Czech Republic’s cultural diplomacy network in the English-speaking world.
President Miloš Zeman is in China for another working visit, along with a trade delegation hoping to carve out slices of the world’s biggest market. Topping his public agenda is the “Belt and Road” summit on Beijing’s trillion-dollar project to boost trade and build infrastructure across Asia, Europe and Africa. In private, though, President Zeman’s talks are likely to centre on the low level of actual Chinese investment after five years of fanfare.