Widow of Czech official threatened by China plans Taiwan visit

Wife of former Czech senate president to undertake husband’s unfulfilled Taiwan trip

Late Czech Senate speaker Jaroslav Kubera. 

Late Czech Senate speaker Jaroslav Kubera.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The widow of former Czech Senate President Jaroslav Kubera will fulfill her husband's wish and join the current Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil and his delegation in their trip to Taiwan later this month.

During a routine press conference Thursday (Aug. 13), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed that the Czech delegation will fly to Taipei on a chartered jet on Aug. 29 and return to the Czech Republic on Sept. 5. Due to the ongoing pandemic, it said two virus tests will be administered to all members of the delegation, including Vystrcil, Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, and Kubera's wife, before and after their arrival.

MOFA stressed that the senate president is the second-highest-ranking official after the head of state in the Czech Republic, so his visit will certainly have a strong and positive influence on both countries as well as Taiwan's relations with the whole of Europe. It added that the trip has been highly supported by the Czech Senate and will serve as a sign of the country's unwillingness to fold under Chinese pressure.

MOFA said the delegation will consist of approximately 90 people, many of whom are local business leaders or academics that have been threatened by China. It pointed out that the delegation has expressed a strong desire to support freedom and democracy through their Taiwan visit, reported CNA.

In January, Kubera unexpectedly passed away just days before his planned visit to Taiwan. His relatives had accused the Chinese embassy in Prague of provoking his death by sending two threatening letters that cautioned him against visiting the East Asian country.

Since then, officials in the Czech Republic have intensified their confrontation with China. Prague, the country's capital, also ended its sister city relationship with Beijing and signed a new agreement with Taipei instead.