The goal of the Information Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in China was to promote an open discussion about the situation within the People’s Republic of China, and to allow the Czech public to acquaint itself with the facts and form its own informed opinion on the subject. The Centre´s activities included exhibitions, lectures, seminars, discussions with students at schools, roundtable debates, and other activities on topics ranging from current developments in Tibet, Hong Kong or Taiwan, to the state of human rights, the fate of political prisoners, economic development, diplomatic relations, the state of ethnic and religious minorities, or the activities of Chinese civil society. All these events were organized by the individual member organizations of the Centre. They were coordinated amongst themselves, jointly promoted, and cooperated on both organizational and content levels. The Information Centre has been replaced by the project Safeguarding Democracy vis-a-vis the Challenge from China.
Background of the Information Centre
China is an important economic partner of the Czech Republic and the bilateral political and diplomatic relations are being increasingly strengthened. Over the past years, several important investments of CEFC, a Chinese corporation, into Czech businesses were announced. The relationship between the two countries was supposed become even closer during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Prague.
The People’s Republic of China is a very complex country. It is the world’s second-largest economy, it modernizes rapidly and it has, thanks to gradual liberalization of its economy, managed to elevate hundreds of millions of its citizens from poverty over the past years. It is, however, still ruled by a single party regime, similar to the one with which the Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia) has had a strongly negative experience between 1948 and 1989. Human rights in China are violated on a daily basis, the freedom of expression is limited, and the situation of religious, cultural, and ethnic minorities is, despite the constitutionally anchored guarantees, very problematic.
Forum 2000 Foundation, Post Bellum, Amnesty International, Prague National Gallery, Lungta, Potala, MOST, Češi Tibet podporují, Iniciativa pro evropské hodnoty, Initiatives for China, International Campaign for Tibet, China Aid