Why I Brought a Czech Think Tank to Taiwan
By Jakub Janda , Director, European Values Center for Security Policy
05 November 2021
In early 2020, a frightened whistleblower handed me a copy of a Chinese diplomatic note. It was an official Chinese embassy document directly threatening Czech senate president Jaroslav Kubera with commercial retaliations if he proceeded in leading a business delegation to Taiwan. Shockingly, Beijing named three Czech companies doing business in China that it was willing to crush if Kubera went forward with the planned delegation. Subsequent media coverage of this attempted blackmail caused a major political scandal, and Kubera passed away before he could make the trip. Later that year, his successor and 90 businesspeople visited Taiwan—the first high-level visit of a European state representative to one of Asia’s most successful democracies.