Vocabulary plays an important role to understand reading comprehension in a better way. It is difficult to understand when someone is reading without knowing what most of the words mean. Therefore, in order to acquaint you with the nuances of vocabulary, we are bringing to you a passage from ‘The Hindu’ (dated December 29th, 2016) and the difficult words from it.
Article: For China, a year of purge and unity
Unanswered questions about China’s rise — peaceful or otherwise — continued to grab headlines throughout 2016. After decades of cooperation, it was clear that the relations between the world’s largest and second largest economies, the U.S., and China were souring.
The question was how far had they gone downhill or were likely to do so once President-elect Donald Trump entered the Oval Office? In 2016, the China-India relationship, in some way, became a subset of the shifting ties between China and the U.S.—with both countries seeking a definite, but elusive, Indian ‘pivot’ in their direction. The optimism generated by the two famous visits—President Xi Jinping’s journey to India in 2014 and its quick reciprocal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi less than a year later, had significantly abated in 2016.
China’s refusal to isolate Pakistan — in fact its insistence, on the contrary, to deepen its engagement with Islamabad — has collided head on with India’s approach to counter Pakistan as a global sponsor of terrorism. In fact, the divergent approach towards Pakistan by the two neighbouring countries has emerged as a standout contradiction in Sino-Indian ties in 2016.
“There is a complete communication meltdown here. China wants to engage both India and Pakistan, not one versus the other. This is necessary for the success of our Belt and Road Initiative,” says a Chinese diplomat, who did not wish to be named.
It is China’s bid to impart stability to Pakistan through economic largesse and political support that is the common thread explaining its position on three controversial issues — sponsorship of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, preventing the imposition of a UN ban on Masood Azhar, the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad, and refusal to admit India alone in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Despite the media focus on big-picture geopolitics, or the impact of an economic slowdown in China on the global economy, the real story in Beijing in 2016 was clearly domestic, not international.
Specifically it was about the elevation of President Xi Jinping as the “core leader” and a thorough and systematic revamp of the Communist Party of China (CPC), woven around him.
“The core leader was a term coined by Deng Xiaoping to ensure that the Party was fully behind Jiang Zemin, when he became CPC General Secretary in 1989. It was also a period of great transition when China’s ageing leadership was giving way to the new,” says Roger Wu, a Beijing-based analyst.
It is tempting to read President Xi’s “core leader” anointment in the image of Mao Zedong or Deng, as China’s return to authoritarianism. But many analysts see the elevation of President Xi as a unifying figure to consolidate the CPC, which has been shell-shocked by a relentless anti-corruption campaign carried out throughout 2016. Even the powerful military has not been spared in this exercise.
The reaffirmation of an overhauled Chinese political system, ideologically rooted in its “red genes”, to guide Beijing’s ongoing transition under the CPC was the essential message that resonated strongly from Beijing in 2016.
1. Grab (verb): To grasping or seize something roughly.
Synonym: Capture, seize, grip, clutch
Antonym: Free, lose, release, let go
Sentence: You need to grab the lose strings in order toget a better hold of it.
2. Downhill (adjective): Leading towards the bottom of a slope.
Synonym: Falling, descending, dropping, dipping
Sentence: Travel downhill on a six lane in order to reach the famous ‘Beverley Hills’.
3. Elusive (adjective): Something which is difficult to find, achieve or remember.
Synonym: Puzzling, slippery, cagey, deceitful
Antonym: Honest, definite, enticing, inviting
Sentence: It all seemed quite elusive to her since the day he has left her.
4. Pivot (noun): A central point.
Synonym: Fulcrum, axle, center, swivel
Antonym: Exterior, periphery, outside, exteriority
Sentence: A child’s happiness is every mother’s pivot of life.
5. Reciprocal (adjective): Given, felt or done in return
Synonym: Exchanged, alternate, correlative, duplicate
Antonym: Different, dissimilar, unequal, independent
Sentence: Good deeds are always reciprocated.
6. Abated (verb): To reduce or become less intense or widespread.
Synonym: Diminish, ebb, recede, slacken
Antonym: Amplify, enlarge, incite, extend
Sentence: Ice abated when the sun shines brightly in the sky.
7. Collided (verb): Hitting by accident when moving or coming into conflict.
Synonym: Bang, bump, shatter, conflict
Antonym: Mend, fail, fix, aid
Sentence: Drive carefully else you will collide with something.
8. Divergent (adjective): Something which is different or developed in different directions.
Synonym: Conflict, contradictory, diverging, distant
Antonym: Harmonious, homogenous, equal, conforming
Sentence: There are countless and divergent opportunities available in the advertising industry.
9. Meltdown (noun): Describing what happens when a person freaks out or some crisis or danger has occurred.
Synonym: Fiasco, hardship, wreck, affliction
Antonym: Wonder, delight, assistance, boon
Sentence: The death of her mother brought her in a state of complete meltdown.
10. Imposition (noun): It is an action or the process of forcing something.
Synonym: Intrusion, drag, levy, restraint
Antonym: Aid, benefit, forthrightness, advantage
Sentence: Imposition of service tax in the restaurant industry is completely unjust.
Question (1-5): Answer the following as directed
1. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘elevation’
Solution: Option (1)
Explanation: The given word means something which is height above a given level. Among the given options, option (1) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
2. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘anointment’
Solution: Option (3)
Explanation: The given word refers to the application of oil in a religious ceremony. Therefore, option (3) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
3. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘shell-shocked’
Solution: Option (4)
Explanation: The given word means to suffer from a shock due to a sudden alarming experience. From the given options, option (4) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
4. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘relentless’
Solution: Option (4)
Explanation: The given word implies to be harsh and inflexible. So, among the given options, option (4) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
5. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘overhauled’
Solution: Option (2)
Explanation: The given word means to redo or restore something. From the given options, option (2) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.