Final Word from Monday, January 14, 2019

Just as Pres. Miloš Zeman ran up against the West in its confrontation with Russia, as most symbolized by his closing of the doors to the Castle in 2015 to then-U.S. Amb. Andrew Schapiro, he is now running up against the West with regard to China. Just as then, Zeman has a saving grace in the way Germany is opposing the U.S. challenge to Huawei's 5G technology. Whenever Zeman wanted to dispute U.S.-led sanctions against Russia, he could say that several German ministers opposed them too. The tactic worked for various reasons, and Zeman's approval rating remained strong. He's now trying the same thing with regard to China by saying that Germany's cybersecurity office hasn't identified Huawei as posing a threat. Will the tactic work again, or will there be a meltdown in Zeman's approval ratings because of his adamant support for Huawei and PPF? It's too early to say, but it's true that Czechs dislike the Chinese even more than they dislike the Russians. [ Czech Republic United States of America ambassador Home Credit ]

Glossary of difficult words

China syndrome - a hypothetical sequence of events following the meltdown of a nuclear reactor, in which the core melts through its containment structure and deep into the earth;

to run up against - to meet (a difficulty or problem);

saving grace - a redeeming quality or characteristic;

meltdown - a disastrous collapse or breakdown;

adamant - refusing to be persuaded or to change one's mind.


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