For China’s economy, post-pandemic ‘new normal’ could be devastating
By the time you read this, America will be returning back to normal. We will be getting over our temporary obsession with ventilators and respirators, with testing and vaccines, and with daily totals of infections and deaths.
This will free the rest of us to return to leading productive lives, running our businesses from our offices rather than our homes, patronizing our restaurants rather than eating take-out, and, most importantly, worshipping in our churches rather than in front of bigscreen TVs.
With the medical crisis under control and the financial rescue package priming the pump, the American economy will quickly rebound. The stock market will continue to recover its losses, and the legions of unemployed will return to work.
The wider world, on the other hand, will be a very different place. China’s rise to global dominance, which once seemed inexorable, may now be indefinitely postponed. The European Union, another rival to continued U.S. preeminence, has been greatly weakened by the reaction to the spread of the China virus as countries there suddenly rediscovered the utility of national borders.
But China is the world’s biggest loser, and it has only itself to blame. Leave aside the still-open question of whether the coronavirus in question had been “enhanced” in the lab to make it more infectious and lethal. What we are fairly certain of is that “Patient Zero” was a lab worker in the Wuhan Institute of Virology who was accidently exposed to the virus, became infected, and passed the infection along to others. From there it quickly spread throughout that city of 11 million people.
The subsequent actions of China’s Communist leaders seem almost designed to spread the disease rather than contain it. From the destruction of early laboratory studies to the silencing of whistleblowers, from the delay in telling the world about the novel coronavirus to the denial that it could be spread from person to person, each of these missteps cost precious lives.
But what is truly inexplicable is this: After the Communist authorities realized they had an epidemic on their hands, they continued to allow flights to depart from Wuhan to all corners of the globe.
To this day, Beijing denies access to the lab where the pandemic began, refuses to release an accurate accounting of infected and dead, and propagates the ridiculous lie that the China virus was actually an American bioweapon that was deliberately used to attack China.
Given all this, it is not surprising that global attitudes have turned dramatically against the government that unleashed this pandemic upon the world. Japan is paying its corporations to shift production out of China. Americans are suing the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party in the courts. And African countries victimized by Chinese “debt trap” construction projects are demanding to have their loans forgiven.
It seems apparent that the Chinese economy is about to suffer what we might call a “death by a thousand cuts.” No single cut—a resumption of the Trump tariffs, supply chains relocating to other countries, factories relocating to freer climes, consumers around the world rejecting China’s wares—would be fatal. But taken together, they will bleed China’s economy dry. They may also, it is to be hoped, shake the corrupt and incompetent CCP to its very foundations.
Could the death of the CCP’s “China Dream” of world domination result in a rebirth of freedom for the Chinese people? We should so pray.
STEVEN W. MOSHER is president of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream Is the New Threat to World Order