mandag 11. mai 2020

China’s Daunting Post-COVID Challenges

As China celebrated victory over its own COVID-19 epidemic, provided medical aid to hard-hit European countries as a crisis conqueror, and took gradual steps to reopen its economy with gradual steps, Beijing may not have predicted that it would have to confront severe challenges from the outside world amid this world pandemic. As the rest of the world struggles with the pandemic, blame and hostility against China, which is considered to be the cause of the crisis, intensified. As a result, China has to confront severe political, diplomatic, and economic challenges.

First, China confronts a credibility challengeby facing accusations that it is accountable for the outbreak of COVID-19. The Chinese government is blamed of orchestrating a deliberate cover-up of the initial spread of the virus by barring local bureaucrats and medical professionals from sharing critical information with the public at the onset. The delayed response to the outbreak in Wuhan at the initial stage is hence held by the international community to be the cause of the pandemic now rampaging all over the world. The anger exacerbated both at home and abroad by the death of the “whistleblower” Dr. Li Wenliang. Chinese political repression is again exposed to public criticism through the COVID-19 crisis.