More than 200 million people are at risk of unemployment as human civilization faces a new world war in the form of COVID-19 that can only be stopped by global cooperation, a Chinese expert has told symposium in Abu Dhabi. Dr. Wang Wen, executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, and vice president of Silk Road School at Renmin University of China (RUC), said there is a significant risk of conflict because of social breakdown and instability.
Actually facing this unknown, unexpected disease, China launched a very big battle to COVID-19 for five months and control basically COVID-19 spreading since the end of the February. But the problem is that in the past four months, there are no infections in most parts of China. But most of people who live in China still wear masks to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. On June 15th, Beijing, my living city, the capital of China, reported new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, there are about 10 daily new confirmed cases now, since the middle of this month. And this further makes us realize that the pandemic is turning into a protracted war. No one can relax. Even, as you may know, in China totally in the last five months only below 9000 cases.
US scholars proposed the concepts of “G2” and “Chimerica” a decade ago. At present, the total GDP of China and the United States exceeds 40% of the world’s total, their combined military expenditures exceed 45% of related global spending, and they account for more than 65% of the world’s R&D investment. According to the assumptions of those US scholars, a pattern of G2 or polarisation has already emerged. But the fact is that the Chinese government and the nation’s academic circles have not yet affirmed the emergence of a G2, and are even more reluctant to move towards a polarised global paradigm with the United States.
When the novel coronavirus broke out about five months ago, people thought the virus would be something like SARS - a terrifying infectious disease that hit them hard in 2003. It was unthinkable for almost everyone that COVID-19 would become such a severe pandemic. As of press time, there have been over 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world with more than 501,000 deaths. As a comparison, a total of 8,098 people worldwide became sick with SARS during the 2003 outbreak, and 774 of them died. Moreover, due to some countries' loose handling of COVID-19, the downward inflection point in terms of worldwide cases has yet to come.
What will happen when the international community contains the nightmarish novel coronavirus pandemic? Avoiding easy comparisons, it is worth recalling how 10 years ago Western pundits prophesied a complete transformation of the world economic order when in reality nothing significant has changed. But despite not knowing much about the future, we can be almost certain that after the pandemic, China will be in a completely different position.
It is unrealistic to think that there aren't negative things happening in China. Unfair even evil deeds do take place from time to time. The burden to reduce poverty and increase employment remains heavy. The Chinese people have undergone a difficult time in fighting the novel coronavirus. When observing anything under a microscope, bacteria and dirt will always be spotted. It has to be understood that China's great changes and structural trends have varying degrees of good and evil, positive and negative, with progress and setbacks.
As 2017 comes to an end, “Asia Today” presents a seven-day year-end special program called “Asian Faces of 2017.” From Dec 24 to 30, we will review the seven most influential figures in Asia and examine how their highs and lows, and their hits and misses, impacted their country, the region and the world.