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March 27, 2018 7:00 pm | FILED UNDER: politics

Zeman Remains Loyal To His Chinese Aide Ye Jianming Who Faces Corruption Charges

By ČTK Milos Zeman Ye Jianming

Lany, Central Bohemia, March 27 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman said today he will not dismiss his Chinese adviser Ye Jianming until he is charged with a concrete crime or convicted, and he will rather wait for the course of China’s investigation into Ye’s activities.

 

At the head of the CEFC company, Ye has done a lot of work, also with an effect in the Czech Republic, Zeman said in an interview on Blesk.cz.

 

He said he has received a letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which Xi assured him of being interested in economic cooperation between their countries.

 

“Until my Chinese adviser is charged with a concrete crime or possibly convicted, I naturally have no reason to get rid of him,” Zeman said.

 

Ye Jianming will either be released or convicted. “I will wait for how the investigation will develop,” Zeman said, adding that if Ye is convicted, he would dismiss him.

 

He said he has met Ye three or four times at friendly meetings. Asked why he chose him for adviser, Zeman said he felt sympathy for Ye, as he has only a half of his stomach following a surgery,

 

“Of course, this is unpleasant in human terms, and this arouses my sympathies [for him],” Zeman said.

 

Another reason was that Ye headed a company that was interested in big investment deals in the Czech Republic, Zeman said.

 

Referring to CEFC, he mentioned the recent entry of China’s state-run CITIC company into the European branch of CEFC.

 

The latter originally planned to enter the J&T Czech finance group, but it recently withdrew its application. According to Zeman, CITIC’s task is to “unfreeze” the plan.

 

Asked why the Chinese investments in Czechia have not reached the sum he had promised in the past, Zeman cited the restriction of foreign investments by China and a decline in the Chinese economic growth.

 

Unlike PM Andrej Babis and the heads of the two houses of parliament, Zeman did not meet U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan during his visit to Prague these days.

 

Ryan would comment neither on why he did not meet Zeman nor on the situation around the previously planned but never materialised meeting of Zeman and by U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House.

 

Zeman told Blesk.cz that Ryan was not interested in meeting him. Ryan’s current visit is private, not official, he said.

 

“I would gladly meet him anytime if he wished it. As far as I know, he has not wished it so far,” Zeman said.

 

After Trump was elected U.S. president, Zeman said Trump had invited him for a bilateral meeting in the White House in a phone conversation. The visit was scheduled for April 2017 but it did not take place.

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