Final Word from Tuesday, September 10, 2019

In "The Mouse that Roared," the tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick declares war on the United States with the full expectation of losing. After its declaration of hostilities gets misplaced by the enemy, the Duchy's small army arrives in New York City, captures the most powerful bomb in the world and stumbles into victory. It's fun Cold War literature and cinema. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib of the Pirates thinks naively that he can repeat it. His effort to remove mention of the one-China policy from Prague's sister-city agreement with Beijing is seen by China as a casus belli from a mouse that roared, and there is no sign whatsoever that China plans to back down. After meeting with Culture Min. Lubomír Zaorálek yesterday, Chinese Amb. Zhang Jianmin said twice in a statement in English (the Czech version is less aggressive) that the Czech side needs to address the "root cause" of the difficulties. The "root cause" is clearly seen to be Hřib, and Beijing clearly wants him uprooted. [ Czech Republic ČSSD ambassador China ]

Glossary of difficult words

root cause - the basic cause of something;

to stumble (into/across/on/upon) - to find or encounter by chance;

casus belli - an act or situation that provokes or justifies a war;

to uproot - to pull (something, esp. a tree or plant) out of the ground; to remove or destroy completely; to eradicate.

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