Final Word from Wednesday, June 10, 2020



When it came to Taiwan, Václav Havel would only take his Havel­ism so far. He was happy to meet with the island's prime minister in Prague in 1995, when Lien Chan made an unofficial visit to the city; he even declared that year at the U.N. that there are two Chinas and that it's a pity that Taiwan isn't a member of that international organization; and he was delighted to meet at the Lány retreat in 2001 with the wife of Taiwan's president. But not even Havel visited the country in his official capacity; he waited until 2004, a year after leaving office, to accept an invitation from the Taiwanese president. Václav Klaus's foreign minister in 1995, Josef Zieleniec, gently reproached Havel for his two-China comment. Twenty-five years later, ODS is solidly behind its Vice Chair and Senate Pres. Miloš Vystrčil, who will become the first top-level Czech official to do what not even Havel would do. Vystrčil quotes Havel and sees visiting Taiwan as a continuation of the values of the Velvet Revolution. ODS's epiphany will be complete when it supports Michael Žantovský, head of the Havel Library, as a candidate for the Senate. [ Czech Republic United Nations ]

Glossary of difficult words

to reproach - to express to someone one's disapproval of or disappointment in that person's actions;

epiphany - a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.

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