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Ľuboslav Štora, the former director of the Confucius Institute (CI) in Slovakia’s Bratislava, drew attention for sending intimidating messages in emails to Matej Šimalčík, one of the key independent experts on China in Central and East European countries. Štora had served as the head of the Slovak branch of communist China’s tech giant ZTE before he worked for the CI, which was founded in 2007 on basis of an agreement between China’s Tianjin University and the Slovak University of Technology. Šimalčík is the executive director of the Central European Institute of Asian Studies (CEIAS). In 2020, he and Adam Kalivoda published an investigative report titled China’s inroads into Slovak universities: Protecting academic freedoms from authoritarian malign interference (pdf). They warned Slovak academic institutions about the risk of cooperating with Chinese entities, given “the nature of the [authoritarian] Chinese regime.” Their study revealed that 25 out of 113 academic interactions between Slovakia …