Final Word from Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The New Silk Road memorandum signed during Bohuslav Sobotka's visit to Beijing commits the CR to representing China's interests within the EU, including supporting an EU-China bilateral investment treaty. The memorandum doesn't specifically speak about Czech support for granting Market Economy Status (MES) to China, but this could easily be construed under the terms of the memorandum. The U.S. is against granting MES to China, which puts the Czech government in a bit of a pickle. How to help the Chinese without incurring the wrath of the Americans? Czech foreign policy toward China under Sobotka has been based on balancing between Schapiro and Kellner. So far, conflict has been avoided. The CR didn't sign up for China's AIIB development bank, for example. But there is reason to suspect that if Sobotka's vote were truly needed on a key issue like MES, it would go not to Schapiro, but to Kellner and China. [Czech Republic Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Petr Kellner PPF Amb. Andrew Schapiro]

Glossary of difficult words

Market Economy Status - a status within the World Trade Organization granting greater protection in the event of anti-dumping procedures;

to construe - to interpret (a word or action) in a particular way;

pickle - a difficult or messy situation;

wrath - anger, rage;

AIIB - Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

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