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China complains about Tibetan flag on Czech PM's jacket - press
ČTK[Saturday, July 26, 2008 17:12]
Prague - Chinese ambassador to the Czech Republic Huo Yuzhen on Friday complained at the Czech Foreign Ministry about Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek having had a Tibetan flag on his lapel at the moment he announced his trip to the Beijing Olympics, Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes today.

Czech ambassador to China Vitezslav Grepl was summoned over the affair to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, MfD writes.

Obviously, Topolanek will not be given any opportunity to meet a high-ranking Chinese official during his stay in China, it adds.

"Grepl was summoned to the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing where the diplomats protested against Topolanek's conduct and demanded an explanation of whether with the Tibetan flag he indicated a major change in the Czech foreign policy course," a senior diplomat told the paper.

Chinese are afraid that Topolanek might appear with the Tibetan emblem during his stay in Beijing.

"This would cause a very delicate situation," an unnamed Czech diplomat told the paper.

Topolanek has declined to say how he will proceed in Beijing.

Topolanek said last week he would attend the Beijing Olympics, but would not leave for the official opening on August 8.

He will arrive in China on August 13 and stay there for three days.

A number of Czech and foreign politicians have decided not to go to the Beijing Olympics as a sign of their dissatisfaction with the human rights observance in China.

Topolanek said the Czech Olympic Committee (COV) had asked him to attend the Olympic Games to support Czech athletes. He met the request.

Topolanek said the athletes had been training for the Olympics for five years and they deserved support from their prime minister.
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