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Yeah, you're right.

"...which is something that many Westerners struggle to understand."

In this context, "...[relying on each] other to maintain their multi-alignment policy..."

perhaps easiest to think of it like any four people who enjoy a friends' relationship: give and take, push and pull; one day one guy's OK, the next day his breath stinks... It's really hard to tell people their breath stinks, you know? That's what friends are for.

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