søndag 17. mai 2020

There’s a hidden cost to coronavirus, and China is about to pay dearly

Like many catastrophes in the history of mankind, the novel coronavirus will do much to reshape global geopolitics. But while some form of overhaul is inevitable, the key question is whether China will emerge stronger or weaker in its great power struggle with the United States.

Thus far China is, predictably, doing better than any other major economy. This should not be surprising as Beijing has outperformed its rivals in controlling the virus. While its record 6.8 per cent contraction in the first quarter was worse than the European Union’s 3.5 per cent and America’s 4.8 per cent, China is expecting a quick turnaround in the second quarter. Neither the EU nor the US can expect the same as this was the period the two regions overtook China as the epicentres of the pandemic.

The global economy is projected by the International Monetary Fundto contract 3 per cent this year, in what would be the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Of the world’s three largest economies, the EU is forecast to shrink by 7.5 per cent and the US by 5.9 per cent, while China is forecast to grow by 1.2 per cent. Most other major advanced economies are facing steep declines: 9.1 per cent for Italy, 6.5 per cent for Britain, and 5.2 per cent for Japan.