None of the challenges China has encountered since its establishment 70 years ago has been as multi-faced as the coronavirus pandemic. As the phase of severe emergency comes to an end, the rising superpower is now confronted with a deteriorating economy, unabridged state-society relations, a hostile regional setting, and an over-attentive international system. At the same time, Beijing is also looking at the wide network of projects it has been building across continents over the past seven years.
On August 9, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will seek his sixth term in office. He has ruled over the country for a quarter-century, relying on a mix of repression, information control, and Russian subsidies. Past elections were foregone conclusions. But this one is different: the coronavirus epidemic has exposed Lukashenka’s incompetence and animated Belarusian civil society. No matter how the votes are counted, it will be remembered as an important moment in Belarus’s political history.
Using Covid-19 as a trigger and the serial failures of the United Nations (UN) to reform, adapt or listen to voices outside the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) as context, this paper argues that the blunders of this institution’s past combined with the present aggressive behaviour of China that has created security threats in the region have come together to force the world to intellectually rethink and physically recreate a new world order.
The coronavirus shock is threatening the eurozone on several fronts, not only from a purely economic perspective. And while there will be a further integration, the outbreak’s diverse impacts and the uneven eurozone fiscal response will result in further divergences this year, erasing the marginal improvements in GDP per capita convergence that occurred during the 2014-2019 recovery. Over the medium term, however, a very gradual level of convergence will resume.
China is having a good crisis. The spread of Covid-19 in China – if one believes the statistics and declarations of the Chinese government – is under control, while many Western countries (and the U.S. in particular) are confronted with a rising number of infections and the prospects of new and prolonged partial or total lockdowns.
When the new coronavirus (COVID-19) broke out in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, nobody, not even the World Health Organization (WHO), knew how far-reaching and devastating it would be. COVID-19 has exposed the limitations of the power of humans and rendered powerful states powerless. As the world’s scientists are racing to find a vaccine, countries are struggling to adjust to the “new normal.”
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, China was no stranger to the spotlight. The “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) had already raised the issue of the country’s global engagement. In compliance with the traditional concept of 面子(mianzi), China had in fact put its internationalreputation forward when relating to other countries.
The calm before the storm, the flat calm that preludes to the earthquake, the long quarantine in which anger and frustration mount: this is Latin America swept by Covid. The continent saw the outbreak spreading in Europe and had time to prepare for the impact. However, the pandemic has overcome every barrier and has spread everywhere. Not only for countries who exposed themselves to disaster with their governments not taking any actions towards interventions and mitigation, like Brazil and Mexico: they are now paying dearly for it.
The future is always uncertain but it seems particularly true for Argentina. As elsewhere, it is unclear how the COVID-19 epidemic will pan out, but Argentina’s proximity to Brazil, a country of 210 million people where contagions seem out of control, poses risks that few other countries have to face.
The Covid-19 pandemic, economic crisis, and political turbulence have created a “perfect storm” for Brazil, causing a panorama of strong uncertainties for the future of South America’s largest country. Already in April, the Johns Hopkins University predicted today's dramatic scenario.