“The bilateral ties between two countries are balanced,” said Jan Fischer, former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic during the 3rd Taihe Civilisations Forum.

“So far, we haven’t tapped all the potential of the bilateral cooperation between our businesses. We have the potential to boost further cultural exchanges, the people-to-people exchange, which is very important.”

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between China and the Czech Republic. As one of the first countries to sign MOU with China on BRI cooperation, the Czech Republic is an important partner in many fields with China.

In terms of economic and trade relations, China has been the Czech Republic’s largest trading partner apart from the European Union for many years, and the Czech Republic is China’s second-largest trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe.

“Bilateral relations are progressing and pretty developed,” Fischer said to People’s Daily Online, “One tangible example is that a lot of Chinese people are coming to Czech. There are now direct flights between Beijing and Prague.”

As for the fields for future cooperation, Fischer emphasised that the two countries’ cooperation can go beyond businesses, and embrace cultural exchanges including arts, music, exhibitions, and operas. “People-to-people relationships and cultural exchange are very important,” said Fischer, “in education, exchange of students, and cooperation in the field of science.”

“Looking into the recent era, China has changed economically, and achieved good results in the field of science, innovation, research, and education,” said Fischer regarding the changes China has made over the past 70 years. “The fundamental driver of China’s progress is dedicated people, good professionals, more and more educated people.”

The 3rd Taihe Civilisations Forum, initiated by the Taihe Institute, was held in Beijing on Sept. 6. Under the theme of “Science Culture, Future Ethics and Common Values,” four sub-forums on International Relations, Education and Culture, Disruptive Technologies, as well as Security and Development of the Belt & Road were conducted.