China sent threatening letter about Czech official’s plan to visit Taiwan

Beijing said Czech companies would feel consequences of trip

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Late Czech Senate Speaker Jaroslav Kubera. 

Late Czech Senate Speaker Jaroslav Kubera.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China sent a letter to the president of the Czech Republic threatening economic retaliation if the speaker of the Senate visited Taiwan, the Reuters news agency revealed Wednesday (Feb. 19).

Jaroslav Kubera had planned to travel to the island, but died on Jan. 20, before he could make the trip.

On Jan. 10, the Chinese embassy in Prague sent a letter to the office of President Milos Zeman saying that the visit would lead to Czech companies such as carmaker Skoda, the Home Credit Group and piano maker Klaviry Petrof suffering if Kubera went ahead.

The message, written in Czech, said the trip by the politician, the Central European country’s second most senior government official, would amount to a “serious breach” of the so-called “One China policy,” Reuters reported.

Ties between Taiwan and the Czech Republic have been growing over the past year, with the capitals, Taipei and Prague, signing a sister city agreement which has riled Beijing.