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The importance of reading editorials of reputed newspapers is not hidden from anybody. What causes obstruction are difficult words which act like speed-breakers forcing you to either refer to a dictionary for its meaning or simply guess it. While getting the meaning from the dictionary is the best way to understand it, sometimes a dictionary is not within your reach. Also, a number of aspirants get confused when they see more than one meaning next to a word in a dictionary. It becomes a difficult process for them to pick the relevant meaning.

We at PracticeMock understand this and that’s why we have come up with a series of Editorials’ Difficult Words where we shortlist the important editorials of the day and pick the difficult words/phrases therein. Next to the word, we put only the contextual meaning so that you don’t get confused. Let’s check out today’s editorial.

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Difficult Word/ PhraseContextual Meaning
quagmirea difficult situation
perilouslyfull of risk
acerbicsharp and forthright
draw closerapproach
hazardrisk
mollifyto soothe in temper
concertedlydone in cooperation
savagevery large and severe
roilannoy or irritate
bilateralinvolving two parties
bunglingcarry out a task clumsily
torridfull of difficulty
at largein general

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The common factor: On China in U.S. politics

China is now a dominant subject in U.S. politics as the election draws closer

President Donald Trump is entering deeper into a political quagmire (a difficult situation) on three related fronts: America’s death toll from COVID-19 is perilously (full of risk) close to the psychologically important mark of 100,000; the economy looks to be on the verge of slipping into a deep recession, if not outright depression, in the wake of the pandemic impact across sectors; and his management of both the crises is facing acerbic (sharp and forthright) criticism from Democrats even as the 2020 U.S. presidential election draws closer (approaches). There is one factor that links all three political hazards (risks) he is facing — China. On the pandemic front, Mr. Trump has regularly tweeted to the effect that the novel coronavirus ought to be called the “China virus” and his top officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have made unsubstantiated suggestions that the virus may have leaked out of a Wuhan laboratory. While Mr. Trump appeared relatively more mollified (to soothe in temper) after a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping in late March, he reverted to name-calling a few weeks thereafter. Beijing meanwhile has concertedly (done in cooperation) pushed a campaign around the message that the virus — contrary to any publicly verified evidence — originated outside China. On the economic front, the savage (very large and severe) trade war that roiled (annoy or irritate) global markets through most of 2019 appeared to be near a resolution when Washington and Beijing inked the ‘phase one’ pact for lower tariffs and trade concessions this January. The pandemic appears to have set that process back considerably: neither side will be in the mood to make concessions given that tens of millions of jobs have been lost in the U.S. and China is far from an economic recovery.

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It is however the third factor, the presidential poll in November, that could most significantly alter the landscape of conflict-ridden bilateral (involving two parties) ties. Presumptive Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden has for several months launched scathing attacks on Mr. Trump’s bungling (carry out a task clumsily) in the early phases of viral transmission, including repeated messaging that the President was slow to respond to warning signs from Wuhan and reluctant to lock down the U.S. to enforce physical distancing. Pro-Trump campaign organisations have in turn taken to labelling Mr. Biden, “Beijing Biden”, which gives Democrats the tough choice of either attacking or defending China. If Mr. Biden does either, he will open himself up to political attacks. There is, however, a third way. If he steps back from the brink of what some analysts are describing as the potential “New Cold War”, based on the understanding that neither side would stand to gain from the cumulative tally of economic and geopolitical conflict, he may not only avert a torrid (full of difficulty) clash between the two nations, but in the process he might win over economically insecure, independent and undecided voters across the U.S., who are decisively important to secure an election victory. Not only the U.S. and China, but the world at large (in general), might stand to gain if he did that.

Hope you got some new words to learn. Are you liking this series of Editorials’ Difficult Words? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. . Have a look at the previously published similar articles and let us know in the comment below if you have any suggestion for us. Also, download Free PDF of all the Hindu Editorials word-meanings published in the months of March & April here.

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