Seeing what was going on in China and how this would affect global supply chains, the West should have predicted the pandemonium they are facing now, says Chip Tsao. One radical thought he proposes is to impose a forced lockdown of the world, letting the virus die a natural death. But even that is but an impossible dream. Ultimately, the pandemic's greatest gift to mankind is forcing one and all to confront the hard truths of globalisation.
Shin Kawashima says that China needs to tread carefully in the ways that it is publicising its efforts in helping other nations battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Excessive propaganda tends to backfire and create huge perception gaps between China and the rest of the world, which will not be a good thing if it hopes to increase its soft power in the days and months ahead.
Food writer Chuang Tzu-i, wife of the US Consul General in Chengdu, shares her experience leaving Chengdu in haste with her two sons over two months ago, and coping with her life in limbo back in Washington DC.
As the Covid-19 coronavirus starts to ease domestically, China is now extending help to other countries that gave it assistance in the initial stages of the outbreak and publicising its efforts domestically and globally. While these efforts are sparking praise from Chinese netizens, it is getting mixed reactions in the global arena. Academics say a quieter and calmer approach may be preferred. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing looks at how China’s pandemic diplomacy is being received.
While China has been diligently making hay while the sun shines, so to speak, in conducting “pandemic diplomacy”, experts assess that its relations with countries in Europe will improve but the US will still hold on to its dominance in the international arena.
Mao said that “the Chinese people have stood up” when he proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Lance Gore from the East Asian Institute says, more than 70 years later, if a Chinese person cannot speak his mind without fear of recrimination, one can hardly profess that the Chinese people have truly stood up.
In these days of Covid-19, the world needs hope. As spring descends and the world renews itself, the cherry blossoms in Wuhan — where the coronavirus was first reported — remind us to take heart that no matter how long it takes, this too shall pass. (Did you know that the cherry blossoms in Wuhan University were first planted by the Japanese army during WWII?)
Hong Kong academic Yuen Kwok-yung was a prominent figure in bringing the 2003 SARS epidemic under control. But he has recently sparked anger in mainland China for his commentary on the Covid-19 outbreak, leading to a subsequent retraction of the piece. Zaobao’s Associate China News Editor Fok Yit Wai asks: "Will Beijing boycott Yuen?"
Researchers possibly withholding information about human-to-human transmission, or publishing papers using someone else's research data... These are just a few of the controversies of the Chinese research system highlighted by the Covid-19 outbreak. How can the scientific community break out of the cycle of alleged unscholarly conduct?