Czech Foreign Minister Lipavsky Discusses China, Tibet and Mutual Trade On Visit To India

Lipavsky met representatives of Tibetans in exile, and gave a speech stressing the trade potential of India and the Czech Republic. Photo credit: Jan Lipavský – ministr zahraničí ČR, via Facebook. 

Delhi, Feb 28 (CTK) – Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky met representatives of the Tibetan community today during his visit to India, and commented on China’s aggressive actions on the northern borders of India in an interview with the WION news channel.

Lipavsky wrote on Twitter that he was pleased to meet representatives of Tibetans in exile again during his visit to India, adding that the friendship between the late Czech president Vaclav Havel and the Dalai Lama was still alive.

China claims that it liberated Tibet and has been improving the lives of its inhabitants by financing its economic development, but Tibetans say Beijing has been suppressing the local people, language and culture.

Lipavsky told WION that China and its economic superpower seem to be the biggest challenge in the Pacific. “It’s becoming a military superpower and we need to be ready to be looking for ways to approach it. I think India understands this very, very well. I think Europe understands this quite well. And definitely, the US understands this very well and we need to be able to cooperate on that and talk to the Chinese in a way that will avoid any possible future conflicts,” he said.

When Lipavsky met the head of the Tibetan Government in Exile Penpa Tsering in Washington last year, it met with sharp condemnation from China, which said Lipavsky was sending an inappropriate message to the Tibetan separatist movement.

The interview also mentioned possible cooperation in the defence industry. “The Russian war against Ukraine shows that the Russian military is not a reliable partner. We have a very good defence industry, and we are ready to present it to India. Some projects are already happening, and we want to be able to increase that kind of cooperation,” Lipavsky said.

India has never openly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and maintains intensive business relations with Moscow. India abstained on the UN General Assembly vote last week on a resolution calling on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

Lipavsky said the purpose for his visit to India was “to show that the Czech Republic is ready to cooperate, and we have a lot to offer.”

“We have great universities, we have great companies. We want to build a relationship of mutual interest in terms of research and innovation. We have a very strong automotive industry, speaking about Skoda or Tata trucks. We want to be here, and we want to be part of this thriving economy,” Lipavsky said.

He also said he would meet representatives of two airline companies. “We want to show them that Prague is ready for a direct flight to India,” he said.

Lipavsky today gave a speech at the Europe Business & Sustainability Conclave business conference in Delhi, which was also attended by India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. He said the Czech Republic and India could develop cooperation in science, innovation and technology, for example, in such fields as telehealth, biomedicine and microelectronics.

He said Czech firms offered solutions in the concept of smart cities, energy value of waste and clean technology. He promised to intensify contacts between Czech and Indian universities and research institutes.

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