Corona Virus, better known as Covid19, started in China, which is the reason why US President Donald Trump insisted on calling it the Chinese Virus. “It originated in China!” that is how POTUS explained it. And it may not be right to call him a “racist” for that. After all, the pandemic of 1920 was called Spanish Flu because it originated in Spain.
Covid19 has devastated the world more than we know. And even though the deaths may be contained the consequence of this virus on the global economy is yet to be ascertained. The economies around the world were already slowing down before the virus hit. And even with a series of remedial measures by every major government of the world; a great many economists cannot be sure how much an economic recovery can occur.
The future of Europe is gloomy and the very existence of the European Union (EU) now in question; particularly after the devastation the pandemic has had in Italy and Spain. Amidst all the chaos the UN had made a statement suggesting that “China and India may be able to sustain the recession.” It caused a lot of cheer in the Indian subcontinent. But can the UN report be trusted?
UN’s health arm – World Health Organization’s (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom is under severe fire. Many important heads of state have asked for his resignation for being “hand in glove” with China through “deception” and “misleading” information. Chinese diplomats even subverted a resolution to debate the virus, by claiming it “unnecessary.” And when a new virus Hunta is on the verge of becoming a pandemic; there has been a steady rise in demands for investigating the role of the Chinese government in mitigation and escalation of this pandemic.
China is not a free state. As bizarre as it may sound, China is a Communist nation with a Capitalistic tendency. It is a complicated nation and given the fact that we know much less about its international functioning makes it, what Winston Churchill once called the Soviet Union, “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Even though China is not a superpower like that of defunct United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) it’s global ambitions through One Belt One Road (OBOR) and its discreet debt traps have made nations wary of its ulterior objectives.
China currently holds the largest US dollar reserve close to one trillion. So, its ability to pose a threat to the US economy is undisputed. Yet, it has not been able to pose any significant threat to US hegemony. On the contrary, owing to its confrontational diplomatic overtures, inspired by Sun Tzu’s Art of War, it has made more enemies than friends. It’s “natural ally” Pakistan is already on the verge of being a failed state, and almost every nation in Asia is willing to build a coalition to check China’s progress. Nations around the South China Sea, including Japan, Cambodia, and Malaysia, have begun actively working on strategies to counter China’s military as well as diplomatic overtures.
The United States of America, which has been entangled in a trade war with the Mandarin-speaking nation, is now looking at China with greater skepticism. A great many leaders in the US Senate and Congress are working on legal measures to restrict Chinese influence within the country. These include sanctioning Chinese tech giant Huawei and canceling the outsourcing of essential drug production in China. United States Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, is already gaining significant momentum to his media blitzkrieg to “expose Chinese duplicity.”
During the Post Pandemic world, every major politician in every major nation will be looking for a way to retain their position of power by blaming an “external enemy”, namely China. Despite the Chinese Communist Party’s mammoth effort to build a global consensus to support “Chinese ingenuity” to “contain the virus” people around the world are skeptical about China. With US Presidential elections around the corner, it would be much easier for President Trump to win re-election with a strong diplomatic and military posturing against China.
While these may have limited effects on the Chinese government; the real challenge is something that may come from within. Brutal restraining tactics of the Chinese police and military upon its own citizens, even before the pandemic, has certainly not won it any great laurels within. However, with the entire nation on lockdown and resentment continuing to rise in its satellite state of Hong Kong – this might only add to the troubles of the Chinese Communist Party. When challenges stem from the outside; there are significant precedents where a country has the ability to survive. Cuba and North Korea are apt examples. But, then, China is much bigger in size and population than in Cuba and North Korea. Being the world’s populous nation poses a significant challenge to the CCP.
After the death of Mao Zedong, his successor Deng Xiaoping played a brilliant role as a statesman by bringing in a sea of political reforms. It was under Deng that China opted for a Capitalist model of economy and scrapped the Maoist version of Communism. If not for Deng, the CCP would have collapsed decades ago. But Deng was a selfless person and established the American form of Presidential system with a limited two terms spanning four years each; Deng never sought any position of power for himself. In sharp contrast to Deng is the current President Xi. President Xi has not just begun scrapping the reforms instituted by late Deng but has also circumvented the system through brutal tactics of eliminating his political contenders by malicious prosecution which often leads them to death for apparent “Corruption.”
Clearly President Xi is not nearly as popular as he may claim to be. For if he was, such disgraceful tactics would not be necessary. On the contrary, his strategies have made him more enemies – inside and outside. And it is only a matter of time before they turn on him. Internal disturbances of such a critical nature have never helped any ruler, anywhere in the world, any time.
With such discontent against the Chinese government; it certain that there will be dire consequences. And the nations that shall stand to benefit from a weakened China would leave no stone unturned to accelerate the process.
The most obvious thing to happen first would be the relocation of industries from China; it is sure to help countries like India. India which is a more vibrant and open economy than China has chosen not to be a US pawn. Instead, it has sought an independent path one that would not be decided by any outside nation. But should the US chose to reinstate another trade war; India cannot side with the Chinese. India would have to play along with the US to weaken the Chinese influence which is a clear threat to the world’s largest democracy.
Given these metrics and variables along with the unclear consequences of the catastrophe within the Communist curtain; a weakened China is no more a possibility but a certainty. A great many nations and their governments and people have a vested interest in making China fall in line. Nations under the Chinese debt will not give up on an opportunity to retaliate. And with no friends by its side; this will only accelerate the demise of the Chinese Communist Party.