Czech ministers and senior parliamentarians held a private meeting with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Tuesday, risking upsetting China just as Prague is trying to boost ties with Beijing.
By contrast, the country's four highest-ranking officials kept their distance from the meeting and issued a rare joint statement stressing that the Czech Republic accepted Tibet as part of China and wanted to maintain good bilateral relations.
The Dalai Lama met Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek, Culture Minister Daniel Herman and the delegate speakers of both places of parliament amid a visit to a yearly gathering propelled by the late Vaclav Havel, the nation's first president.
Havel had close individual connections with the now 80-year-old friar and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The pastors and appointee speaker of the lower place of parliament are Christian Democrats, junior accomplice in the decision focus left coalition, and the upper house speaker is aligned with them. The gatherings were named as private.
In their joint articulation discharged by the workplace of President Milos Zeman, the four most noteworthy positioning Czech authorities said: "Individual exercises of some Czech legislators don't express a change of the official arrangement of the Czech Republic and we would view as disastrous on the off chance that anyone considered it to be such."
Chinese Foreign Ministry representative Hua Chunying said the Dalai Lama was there to participate in "against China separatist exercises", that they were to a great degree disappointed with the meeting and restricted any remote authorities meeting him.
In any case, Hua included she noticed the administration articulation.
"We trust the Czech side can simply meet China midway, and find a way to keep up the present great force in creating Sino-Czech relations," she told an every day news instructions in Beijing.
China as often as possible reprimands nations for giving any acknowledgment to the Dalai Lama, whom it blames for advancing freedom for the Himalayan locale. He says he just looks for honest to goodness self-sufficiency for Tibet.
China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday it would strike back after Slovak President Andrej Kiska met the Dalai Lama.
The Czech government has been quick to help ties with China. China was appreciative for Zeman's participation as the main western pioneer at a military parade in Beijing in 2015 denoting the end of World War Two.