Final Word from Tuesday, October 25, 2016

PPF had worked so hard to change Czech policy toward China in its effort to win favors from Beijing for its Home Credit consumer-finance business. PM Mirek Topolánek met with the Dalai Lama at the PM's residence in 2008, and PM Jan Fischer received the spiritual leader at the cabinet office in 2011, but by 2012 PM Petr Nečas was decrying Dalai Lamaism. The following year, the cabinet of PM Jiří Rusnok was completely shunning the Tibetan. Not a single one of his ministers stepped out of line to meet officially or unofficially with the Dalai Lama. This was seen as a big victory for Czech-Chinese relations, and the next year Petr Kellner got to pose for a photograph - never released to the public - with the Chinese president. Daniel Herman single-handedly returned things to square one last week, and it happened on PM Bohuslav Sobotka's watch. This was Sobotka's second big failure. He also had to drop a planned memorandum with the Chinese Communist Party after it leaked. In business terminology, Sobotka has exceeded his useful life as far as PPF and China are concerned. [Czech Republic Beijing ČSSD Jiří Brady]

Glossary of difficult words

to decry - to denounce publicly;

to shun - persistently to avoid, ignore, or reject (someone or something) through antipathy or caution;

to pose - to assume a particular position in order to be photographed, painted, or drawn;

back to (or at) square one - back to where one started, with no progress having been made;

on someone's watch - while someone is on duty;

useful life - the expected period of time during which a depreciating asset will be productive.

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