Relatives allege threats from China caused death of Czech Senate speaker

Kubera received threatening letter from Chinese embassy warning him against visiting Taiwan

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Late Czech Senate speaker Jaroslav Kubera 

Late Czech Senate speaker Jaroslav Kubera  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The widow and daughter of late Czech Senate speaker Jaroslav Kubera have accused the Chinese embassy in Prague of having sent a threatening letter to the politician over his ties to Taiwan, in effect provoking his death, reports said Friday (May 1).

Kubera passed away on Jan. 20 at the age of 72 as he was preparing to make a trip to Taiwan. The Czech Republic has recently been the scene for a tug of war between China and Taiwan, with President Milos Zeman seen as a supporter of Beijing.

In an interview with Czech media on April 26, Kubera’s widow and daughter said the speaker had received two threatening letters from the Chinese embassy and from the Czech presidential office cautioning him against visiting Taiwan, CNA reported.

The pro-Chinese faction in the Czech Republic’s government has close ties to a company named as PPF Group, which has interests in China, according to a local researcher interviewed by Deutsche Welle’s Chinese-language service.

Relations between the Central European country, once part of the communist dictatorship Czechoslovakia, and communist China are much less intensive than those of other European countries, the report said. Only a minority of politicians and businesses have advocated stronger ties with Beijing, while Taiwan has won wider support, partly because of its efforts against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.