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A mountain of controversies leaves Czech-China relations with little room for progress

The window of opportunity that was once wide open for China to establish a robust presence in the Czech Republic has closed due to a multitude of unfulfilled pledges and growing tensions in bilateral relations. Furthermore, China's pro-Russian neutrality in the Ukraine war has sparked concerns about its appeal as a viable partner.

After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, the newly independent Czech Republic, under the leadership of Václav Havel, took a strong stance against China's human rights record and expressed scepticism towards cooperation with communist regimes. However, changes in the political scene gradually influenced this values-based foreign policy, as it was replaced by a more pragmatic approach aimed at attracting potential investment. Setting the foundations for the Czech Republic to become the gateway for Chinese investment in Europe, Petr Nečas's government, ruling the country from 2010 to 2013, saw China as a new and attractive partner.
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November 20, 2023 - Veronika Blablova - Hot TopicsIssue 6 2023Magazine

Chinese nationals came out to greet President Xi Jinping's visit to Prague in March 2016. Chinese-Czech relations have soured considerably since then, with most high-level politicians distancing the country from China. Photo: Eva Lai / Shutterstock


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