Final Word from Thursday, October 22, 2015

If the Brits are falling all over themselves to do deals with the Chinese, why shouldn't the Czechs too? The Financial Times wrote this week that the size of the commercial opportunity is such that the U.K. is justified in rolling out the reddest of red carpets for Xi Jinping. In other words, if the price is right, it's okay for London to make such a major shift in its great-power relations in favor of Beijing, against the wishes of the U.S. In Prague, Bohuslav Sobotka has actively supported Miloš Zeman's efforts to deepen ties with Beijing and Moscow. His reasons are both political (warmer relations with Zeman) and financial (campaign support from Zeman's oligarch friends). The difference between what Sobotka is doing and what David Cameron and George Osborne are doing is fundamental. In the U.K., no one suspects that the domestic business interests Cameron and Osborne are serving have close ties to Communist-era intelligence services. [Czech Republic Britons United Kingdom United States]

Glossary of difficult words

to fall all over oneself - to show unusual or excessive enthusiasm or eagerness for something, esp. in the hope of being favored or rewarded;

to roll out the red carpet - to give privileged treatment to a distinguished visitor.

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