Czech President elected by war hero Pavel considers China a threat to security The Times Free Newsletter

War hero and former NATO general Pavel (right) was elected president of the Czech Republic, and his wife Eva (left) is also a soldier. (Reuters)

2023/01/28 23:48

(Central News Agency) Former NATO general Petr Pavel has won the Czech presidential runoff that ended today.

Diplomatically, Pavel is more pro-Western than the current president, Milos Zeman. He particularly advocates being tough on Russia and China, supports continued military aid to Ukraine, and has a position similar to the situation of the government led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

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Pavel considers China as a security threat. He previously pointed out that China has the potential to become a center in the economy, technology and military, but its values ​​and strategic goals are different from those of the Czech Republic . be careful when developing bilateral relations.

He said that the Czech Republic and China have opportunities to develop trade, but the trade volume is not large, and the potential is not so large that it is necessary to adapt the principles of foreign relations for this purpose, such as limiting cooperation with Taiwan.

Agence France-Presse reported that Pavel, a war hero who loves motorcycles, has promised to “restore order” in the EU and NATO member Czech Republic if elected.

True to his military background, Pavel, 61, said on his campaign website: “I cannot ignore the fact that people here feel more and more disorganized, disorganized and insecure, and that the country has somehow given up to act.”

He also wrote: “We need to change this situation. We need to play according to the rules of the game, which apply to everyone equally. We need a big cleaning.”

Born on November 1, 1961, Pavel attended a military school and university in now-defunct, Russian-backed communist-ruled Czechoslovakia.

Pavel then joined the Communist Party, and his military ranks began to climb rapidly. His critics accused him of studying to be a military intelligence agent in the Communist army.

“I was born into a family where joining the party was considered a common thing. I didn’t have enough knowledge and experience to judge the criminal nature of the system, and now I know it was a mistake, ” says Pavel on his website.

When the Communist Party collapsed in 1989, Pavel gave up his party card, but continued to study intelligence courses.

Pavel served as an elite paratrooper in the army and was honored in 1993 for helping French soldiers escape from the war zone between Serbia and Croatia.

After the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999, Pavel served for 3 years at the NATO Regional Command in the Netherlands. He later gained a master’s degree in international relations from King’s College London, UK, before taking over as Chief of Staff of the Czech Army.

In 2015, Pavel was appointed chairman of the NATO Military Council, the alliance’s chief military officer. He received numerous medals during his military career, including the Legion of Merit from the United States and the Croix de Guerre from France, and was honorably discharged in 2018 wearing a medal.

When the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) began, Pavel launched the organization “Stronger Together” (Stronger Together) to help deal with various crises and assist those in need.

Pavel’s wife, Eva, is also a soldier. He said he enjoys traveling, skiing, photography and reading in his spare time, but his real hobby is riding a motorcycle. Originally, Pavel rode a Suzuki (Suzuki) off-road motorcycle, and now he rides a BMW dual sport.

“I have served for 33 years to promote democracy and westernization in our country,” Pavel said on his website.

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