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The coronavirus pandemic intensified the rivalry between two major powers, the United States of America and China. It has increased international cooperation in order to overcome this threat while on the other hand, it has provoked anger, mistrust and a blame game among the superpowers. The world had a dramatic economic breakdown that has never experienced throughout history. Now the question is that will the post COVID-19 global village would be the same as what we are experiencing during the Coronavirus outbreak?
The pandemic set the world in a tragic situation and put the life of billions across the globe in danger and yet no country has been able to develop a vaccine or any particular medication to it. The virus proclaimed to be expanded from the food market of Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province in China, a city with 11 million population. It didn’t take too long to target American territory and her allied countries. In no time it left the US to a most affected state and interestingly China which was the first epicenter of the pandemic became the safest place on earth comparing it to other places.
If we examine this pandemic from the lens of international politics, it looks like a new type of war that mostly takes place between the superpowers over superiority, but the type and its systematic targeting makes it different and difficult to figure out. Hegemonic wars over the history of anarchy, harsh power, cold war and soft war concepts have gone and thus we are entering/entered to the new race calling Biological war, where there will be no more need for enriching uraniums.
In the beginning, Beijing did her best to camouflage the pandemic and detained, threatened and expelled journalists who had reported about the impacts of the deadly virus, but finally it couldn’t stop the information outflow. Among other reasons, the US claims the secrecy of China helped the spread of COVID-19. The question remains unclear that how China, the densely populated country with around 1.43 billion population, came across to bend the curve of this pandemic? Was it because of the mighty leadership or any secret agenda behind the scene? There are claims that the virus has been formulated in the Chinese laboratories and if this claim is proved true, China’s economy will suffer worst times.
As the World is experiencing a big slump in the economy and countries are striving to stabilize their economy, IMF findings indicate that the global GDP will decrease 3% this year and year after respectively while before the COVID-19 there was a 3% boost in the world GDP. In addition, the UN estimates a $2 trillion shortfall. The international labour organization has warned that at the end of the pandemic, 0.5 billion people will lose their jobs worldwide. Meanwhile, the hub of global investments has benefited from the crisis. When Coronavirus was at its ascending status in China, the shareholders, beneficiaries and the owners of International companies based in China were hesitant about the future of their businesses. But, after a month of a pandemic, the Xi Jinping regime announced that they are ready to purchase all those shares if anyone wants to sell it due to the fear of pandemic. As a result, China bought shares several times less than its original values in the global market. But the question remains that how long the self-made dramatic puzzle could help China?
If the rumors are confirmed true that the COVID-19 is a Chinese lab-fabricated virus, then it would smite China’s economy in the way it has never experienced in the past. On one hand, it will blur China’s global image that would be countable to pay trillions of dollars to the affected countries, and on the other hand, the China-based multi-national companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung might shift their businesses outside China by September 2020 which will definitely slump China’s production line. The world’s largest exporters haven’t been able so far to deal with the double-headed demands of its consumers. Thus, it depicts China’s inability as the largest producer. Therefore, it will force the consuming countries to rethink and search for alternative options, which in the long run will hurt China’s economy.
Politically, China wants to challenge the liberalist school of thought by weakening the globalization, democracy and capitalism. Since the rise of globalization from the 1990s, the world became interconnected and the earth was called to be a global village. But now the COVID-19 outbreak has plunged the whole world into an economic recession which has resulted in a global trade ban and the closure of the borders. Henceforth, the concept of globalization and interdependency was severely minimized.
But, I believe that the pandemic challenged the whole world and became a global calamity, yet globalization played its role efficiently. One thing that became vibrant as the result of COVID-19 is the shared challenge of the global village and I think it will further strengthen the ties among the states for any future challenges. In addition, the states are like humans, different in ideologies and viewpoints, they may choose their own style of living but can’t exist in isolation. Moreover, we are witnessing an increase in digital interactions. Zoom, a US-based company provides video conference facilities for online education and business meetings which clearly indicates that globalization will not fail.
We may not witness a new emerging world order but should not disregard the notable changes in the system. MNCs will lose their control over the countries considerably, local governments will prioritize their domestic products despite pressures.