It may be too early to draw many conclusions about the effects of the corona virus sweeping the globe, but it is save to conclude one of the big casualties has been China’s vaunted ambitions.
For years now, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under Xi Jinping has attempted to portray the so-called China model as the course the world should be following.
The rapid economic growth of China has certainly impressed a good many leaders and economists. A number of them have praised China for its ability to get things done quickly.
China’s growth has been so spectacular that many country’s are willing to overlook its horrible human rights record with respect to Tibet and Muslims. As long as it kept the world’s economy humming, then all might be forgiven.
Xi’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, has revealed the underlying weaknesses of the CCP’s totalitarian rule and called into question whether the China model is something that should be emulated.
What the pandemic, which began in Wuhan, shows is that China is reckless and not a trading partner to be trusted.
When doctors first discovered the existence of the virus, the first reaction of authorities was to be suppress the news and punish the doctors.
Xi’s government did this because the need to control is central to socialism. When something presents itself that cannot be easily controlled then the temptation is to deny its existence.
Reality, however, can never be denied. And when it became painfully obvious that a rogue virus was on the loose Xi’s government did what all dictatorships do – it over-reacted and clamped down with a ferocity unknown to the West.
It was all to no avail and the country’s economy ground to a halt. Within in weeks it was soon apparent that many corporations were dependent on Chinese production. The great chain of supply was broken.
That, of course, sent ripples through Western stock markets and we saw massive drops in valuation as investors attempted to unload.
The world economy and the stock markets will recover in time, but what will not recover is China’s and Xi’s reputations. The CCP’s inherent flaws have been on full display.
Already we see business and political leaders in the West questioning our reliance on China and lamenting the fact so many goods are produced there and not at home.
This is the beginning of the end of globalization.
Xi’s hubris will prove his own undoing and that of China’s as well.