Final Word from Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Experts on China can argue until they're blue in the face about the utility or futility of boycotting Beijing's planned celebration in Sept. of the end of World War II in Asia, but all but one EU country decided to shun it in any event. The only holdout, according to today's HN, was Prague. Miloš Zeman wants to go to China again, and the Czech foreign ministry dares not rattle his cage by opposing it. That's the official version, at least. What should now be increasingly apparent to anyone willing to look beyond the headlines is that Zeman and Bohuslav Sobotka are singing from the same hymn book with regard to Russia and China, and it is the book written by Petr Kellner's PPF. When Sobotka supports Zeman's visit to Beijing by telling Právo that it's good to realize that China lost millions of people in WWII, it sounds like a talking point prepared by PPF's envoy to China, Jaroslav Tvrdík. This diplomatic faceoff with the EU-27 will cost the CR more credibility, and it's important to realize that PPF's commercial interests are primarily the reason for it. [Czech Republic European Union EU-28 Lubomír Zaorálek]

Glossary of difficult words

EU-27 - (in this context) the EU-28 minus the Czech Republic;

utility - the state of being useful, profitable or beneficial;

futility - the state of being incapable of producing any useful results; pointlessness;

to do something until one is blue in the face - to put all efforts into doing something to no avail;

to shun - to avoid or evade;

holdout - a person or organization that resists something or refuses to accept what is offered;

to rattle someone's cage - to make someone feel angry or annoyed;

to sing from the same hymn book/sheet - to say the same thing;

talking points - a position or planned series of remarks on an issue, esp. when used to help guide a person's discourse in public and in the media;

faceoff - a direct confrontation between two people or groups.

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