Final Word from Wednesday, November 2, 2016

China's cancelation of two planned minister-level meetings this week in Beijing with Agriculture Min. Marian Jurečka of KDU-ČSL shows what Czech politicians should have already known: China plays hardball. You can mess with the Middle Kingdom, but if you do, it will hit back twice as hard. And keep hitting. The problem is that Jurečka, Daniel Herman, Pavel Bělobrádek and Andrej Babiš thought that the game they were playing was Chinese checkers. They thought they could block Miloš Zeman here or there, triple-jump Petr Kellner, Jaroslav Tvrdík and Radek Pokorný, and land safely in the American corner. On the way over, though, they hit the Chinese wall of Chairman Xi and were surprised to see this happen. How naive are these geopolitical greenhorns anyway? You can't renege on agreed policy toward China and expect the Chinese to forgive and forget. So what's it going to be, gentlemen? Are you ready to play hardball? [Czech Republic president Xi Jinping ANO PPF]

Glossary of difficult words

to play hardball - to use uncompromising and ruthless methods;

greenhorn - a person who is new to or inexperienced at a particular activity;

to renege on - go back on a promise, undertaking, or contract.

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