Have a Clear Understanding on the Impact of Covid-19 and Actively Preparing Response Plan

A staff member does nucleic acid testing work at a novel coronavirus detection lab in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Cheng Min)

The sudden outbreak of the epidemic has brought unprecedented impact to China and the world. What will happen to China after the epidemic? Such a question has become a major topic of great concern at home and abroad. How long will the epidemic last? It is still difficult to tell based on the current situation. The normalized epidemic prevention will be the subject in certain time. Only when special drugs and vaccines are produced can we finally determine whether the epidemic can end. What kind of impact will the epidemic bring, and how China will deal with the new situation at home and abroad in the future become a major issue that we have no choice but to face.

The Covid-19 has caused severe impacts on both the world and China. For which the international political structure is gradually changing, and the economic situation is not encouraging. China is facing many difficulties in opening to the outside world.

Influence international political structure. First, the epidemic has changed the world’s political structure and affects the future development of human beings. The epidemic is testing the governance capabilities of every country around the world, which will also reshape each country’s domestic and foreign policies and even relations with other countries. Second, the “only one super power, and multi-great power” international political power structure is rapidly transforming to the “bipolar structure”, which has brought China new opportunities and challenges. Third, the contradiction between China and the United States has become the main axis of the world, for which the confront between these “two-axis” will greatly impact the world. Fourth, the epidemic has highlighted the shortcomings of global public health. Fifth, countries have less political trusts with each other. The competition between major countries becomes fiercer. What’s more, some countries consider the epidemic as a new battlefield, which makes the international security situation increasingly severe. Sixth, under the epidemic, the highlight of non-traditional security cooperation has brought new conflicts to the traditional security. After the epidemic, populism, nationalism, protectionism, and unilateralism will become serious. In surrounding areas, China is facing double pressures of domestic construction pressure and the one comes from neighboring countries.

Influence international economic situation. The economy has been hit comprehensively due to the epidemic. Currently, globalization is slowing down, while the “de-globalization” accelerating. Right now, the most severe issue is that the epidemic has blocked the global supply chain, industrial chain and value chain. The current economic and epidemic protection issues are politicizing. The inverse globalization is also developing further, both the Western countries and the United States are emphasizing the development of their own industrial chains and are making efforts to enhance their own industrial chains.

China’s opening to the outside world becomes severe. Economically speaking, the reverse globalization, return of manufacturing, and economic sovereignty of the developed countries have increasingly become obstacles for China’s further development. From a social point of view, populism and nationalism are taking the advantages. Besides, the ruling party and ruling policy of several countries are contrary to China’s opening policy. The domestic conflicts have been rising in some countries, who are making troubles in China’s surroundings to divert the domestic conflicts that have been highlighted by the epidemic.

Under the epidemic situation, we have also seen that China and our surrounding countries, Indian Ocean countries will reach new development cooperation, and it becomes more prominent the significance of the community in neighboring countries sharing the same future.

The significance of constructing the surrounding community sharing the same future is more prominent. Surroundings are the primary and foundation condition for the construction after the epidemic. The epidemic is beneficial to strengthen the community consciousness between surrounding countries to certain extent. Surrounding countries rely more on China, and the further cooperation in public health field has promoted the sustainable development of the cooperation with surrounding countries. The epidemic further has promoted the cooperation between China and ASEAN. For which there will be further progress in handling with immigration and refugee issues in the future.

Indian Ocean countries are the key regions for further cooperation. Indian Ocean is important for strategic position, the economy of which complements with our country. Therefore, it will become a new space for the international industrial transfer in the future and also a country that is more friendly to China. China has the advantages of “time, geographical advantages, and harmonious relationship” working with countries around the Indian Ocean, which may become a key area for future cultivation. When the epidemic is over, it will become more prominent the importance of cooperating with Indian Ocean countries, even greater cooperation space in aspects of disease prevention, disaster prevention and mitigation, climate change, sustainable development, marine economy, etc.

The impact of the epidemic will last for a long time. For which, we need to prepare short-term and long-term response plans in order to mitigate the impact of the epidemic on national relations and economic development.

In short term: complete a good job in market, opening up, publicity, epidemic prevention, etc. Expanding the domestic market, increasing income and reducing expenditure at the same time. Banks, governments, and enterprises should unite and ensure the job employment first, which shall be taken as the top priority of the work this year. Government, enterprises and society should coordinate. The government provides policy, enterprises start business and the society opens to the public with support and assurance. In order to alleviate people’s panic, communities and social organizations can work with the government and enterprises to organize activities such as tourism, movie watching, sports and fitness in order to maintain a normal life; issue special national bonds to increase financing strength; increase income and reduce expenditure in order to mitigate local debt risks. Meanwhile, it can reduce and exempt finance and taxation, which will be beneficial for helping small and medium-sized enterprises overcome difficulties; increase the intensity of food and agricultural production; expand consumption platforms and stimulate domestic economic development by stimulating domestic demand.

Further expand the opening up. It needs to improve the industrial chain layout, strengthen the construction of industrial chain systems with surrounding countries, increase the absorption of international capital, jointly participate in the “consultation” of the impact of the epidemic, and figure out new cooperation ways and methods. Making efforts in finding the “blocking points” together in order to clear the channels and break through the blockage of the “three chains” to the utmost extent. Based on the global industrial development and the new trends of the fourth industrial revolution during the epidemic situation in order to reorganize and perfect the industrial chain and accelerate the layout of new industries. It can start with the “One Belt and One Road” construction to promote the construction of the “Healthy Silk Road” and promote the establishment of special international economic and trade rules and regulations aiming at public health emergencies. It is necessary to work with countries that are friendly to us with Chinese wisdom, striving to help the international community, and support the leadership and coordination of the United Nations, WHO and other international organizations.

Narrate the story of the world’s joint fight against the epidemic and improve the international and domestic public opinion environment. It is a correct way to take both the positive and negative aspects shall be taken into consideration while dealing with international public opinion. It is important to emphasize that China is a victim of the epidemic and also a member of the global community of common future. Do not over-promote the universality and advanced nature of China’s epidemic protection, striving for obtaining the sympathy and understanding of people from every country; positioning the medical assistance provided by China to countries around the world as a diplomatic effort to alleviate the humanitarian crisis; letting the world know that our country is still a developing country with a large population and weak foundation. Meanwhile, it needs to strengthen the guidance of the domestic public opinion. Some domestic media amplify extreme and populist voices in order to obtain the traffic. We need to look at the epidemic from a rational and global perspective. Because every country has different national conditions. It is indeed that China’s experience can be used for reference, but it is not a standard answer. That’s why it is necessary to report the overseas epidemic situation in an objective and peaceful manner. It is taboo to only talk about ourselves while storytelling, which requires to tell the story of others. Every country has good experience in exploring epidemic protection. We need to see the world with a positive attitude. In terms of domestic propaganda, it needs to pay more attention to China’s difficulties, especially the difficulties in economic recovery after the epidemic, letting the citizens know the difficulties of the country. Because it is beneficial for helping citizens in understanding the country’s policies and overcome the difficulties with the country together.

In mid- and long-term: take multiple measures to expand overseas market and regional cooperation. Participate in the construction of the global governance system. It needs to transform challenges into cooperation opportunities. Insisting on focusing on the development of the epidemic situation and trying our best to help other countries in fighting against the epidemic, including promoting the construction of a healthy social system, improving medical standards, etc. Promote the construction of the community of common destiny. It needs to further strengthen the propaganda of the community of common destiny, clarify the connotation of the community of common destiny and form a consensus with surrounding countries. Formulating the planning and implementation path for the community of common destiny. All things are easy before becoming difficult. It shall set a good example, progress together, and lay a solid foundation. It can also increase the publicity of the major achievements of the joint war against epidemic and highlight the value of the community of common destiny. It can create a model for joint epidemic prevention for Lanmei area and set a good example of the community of common destiny.

(Xiqin Sun, Associate Professor at Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, P.R. China)


Xiqin Sun

Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, P.R. China