torsdag 9. april 2020

What COVID-19 Reveals About China-Southeast Asia Relations

The COVID-19 outbreak that began in Wuhan in December 2019 will not leave Southeast Asia unscathed. As of April 7, some 15,000 COVID-19 cases have been identified in the region, according to official measures. Many believe that underestimates the true spread of the virus.

Even before case counts began to climb, China’s virtual economic standstill was already quick to take its toll, disrupting trade, travel, and supply chains throughout the region. For example, Singapore’s economy contracted by 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2020 from a year ago, while Malaysia’s economy is expected to contract by as much as 2.9 percent in 2020, with some 2.4 million job losses. Although some countries may be more severely impacted than others, depending on the depth of their links with China and on the weight of the tourism industry in their GDP, the impact was violent and is likely to be even more devastating as the pandemic spreads further.