Saturday, March 21, 2020
Whereas the Trump administration has used the pandemic to pull back on global integration, China is using the crisis to showcase its willingness to lead. As the first country hit by the new coronavirus, China suffered grievously over the last three months. But now it is beginning to recover, just as the rest of the world is succumbing to the disease. That poses a problem for Chinese manufacturers, many of which are now up and running again but facing weak demand from countries in crisis. But it also gives China an enormous short-term opportunity to influence the behavior of other states. Despite early mistakes that likely cost the lives of thousands of people, Beijing has learned how to fight the new virus, and it has stockpiles of equipment. These are valuable assets—and Beijing has deployed them with skill.
Christ preserve us.