Final Word from Tuesday, March 29, 2016

If this week's visit to Prague of the Chinese president had taken place 5-10 years ago, when Hungary and Poland were ramping up ties with China, the criticism of the human-rights sides of things would have been more convincing. Václav Havel would still be alive, and the Havel message would set the tone. Not so much now, though, partly because the refugee crisis has crippled the humanitarian movement in the eyes of many Czechs. On the other hand, the criticism of the business side of things would have been less profound 5-10 years ago. As it happened, Jaroslav Tvrdík timed his Chinese foray just as people were waking up to the reality of what Chinese partnerships mean. As Donald Trump so effectively points out, they eventually mean the loss of millions of jobs. They mean huge short-term profits for a very small group of individuals and companies, to the detriment of the long-term interests of the vast majority. [Czech Republic CEFC Xi Jinping]

Glossary of difficult words

to ramp up - to increase or cause to increase in amount or intensity; 

to set the tone - to ​establish a ​particular ​mood or ​character for something; 

foray - an attempt to become involved in a new activity or sphere; a sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, esp. to obtain something; a raid; 

detriment - the state of being harmed or damaged.

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