AsiaGlobal Voices

Trending Opinions From Across the Region

AsiaGlobal Voices is a curated feed of summaries of opinion articles, columns and editorials published in local languages in media from across Asia.

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To Maintain Cross-Strait Peace, Curb "Taiwan Independence”
Thursday, October 1, 2020
To Maintain Cross-Strait Peace, Curb "Taiwan Independence”

 Zhou Zhihuai, Executive Director, National Society of Taiwan Studies, in Global Times (September 21, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Office of the President, Taiwan)

To Maintain Cross-Strait Peace, Curb "Taiwan Independence”

After Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the 2020 Taiwan elections, the debate over the issue of "peace and war" across the Taiwan Strait has become a prominent topic. Maintaining peace and ensuring the peaceful development of cross-strait relations have been consistently upheld by the Communist Party of China and its leadership. This highlights the mainland’s sincere desire for future generations on both sides to share a beautiful life in long-term peace

But this must be based on the common political foundation of "the mainland and Taiwan belonging to one China" and requires opposing "Taiwan independence". The mainland is resolutely against this precisely to avoid war and ensure that the country can achieve peaceful reunification. Ever since Lee Teng-hui came to power in 1988, conflicts in the political, foreign affairs and military fields have always stemmed from separatist activities.

After Tsai came to power, the situation has entered a new period of danger and peace has been increasingly challenged. While Tsai's administration has acted recklessly, "independence" forces have received strong external support.  Since 2016, the US has strengthened its influence over Taiwan in terms of local politics and the military. It has used Taiwan as a “pawn” against China and tried to undermine any form of peaceful reunification. The long-term involvement of foreign forces is therefore a serious threat to peace.

Historically, people in Taiwan held no sense of the value of cross-strait peace, but now they are equally insensitive to the evolving crisis. Once peace is lost, neither the DPP nor external forces will be able to piece together the broken pieces. Peace on both sides of the strait is what the people want. Only when the Tsai can reaffirm the 1992 Consensus can the two sides resume dialogue to strengthen peace.

Universities in the West on the Brink of Bankruptcy
Friday, September 18, 2020
Universities in the West on the Brink of Bankruptcy

Yu Pengkun, writer, in Guancha (September 17, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Theoden sA)

Universities in the West on the Brink of Bankruptcy

The pandemic has affected universities around the world. While China has been able to control the spread of the virus and reopen campuses, in the US, the UK, Australia and many other countries, the epidemic has not been be controlled, and universities have generally been encouraged to open up as soon as possible. As a result, many universities in these countries have been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy.

This year, almost all Australian universities have relaxed academic requirements for international students. Meanwhile, it has been reported that many prestigious universities in the US could close down.

Chinese cannot understand this phenomenon. During the epidemic period, students at universities in China took classes online so the only drop in revenue was from accommodation fees and canteen contract payments. The commercialization of education, which is common overseas, makes students and parents behave like consumers and, as a result of high tuition fees, many perceive the value of online teaching to be less than that of in-person instruction. There is still a strong belief that the epidemic is not to be taken seriously and that virtual learning is not necessary. This a result of anti-intellectual thinking encouraged by political elites.

The UK, the US and Australia have been unable to control the epidemic. As relations with China become more strained, Chinese parents and students must consider all possible risks and also whether distance learning is really worth the tuition. But why are prestigious universities facing serious financial difficulties with a drop in tuition fees in just one year? Ultimately, the commercialization of higher education is to blame. Over the past 20 years, China has also already experienced a certain degree of commercialization so attention must be paid by relevant departments to learn from problems in other countries.

DPP Government Harms Taiwan by Promoting Decoupling from the Mainland
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
DPP Government Harms Taiwan by Promoting Decoupling from the Mainland

Xie Nan, Associate Researcher, Institute of Taiwan Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in Global Times (August 21, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Solomon203)

DPP Government Harms Taiwan by Promoting Decoupling from the Mainland

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan is increasingly attempting to restrict cross-strait economic, trade and cultural exchanges. The DPP has moved to bar popular mainland streaming services, iQiyi and Tencent’s WeTV, from operating in Taiwan. At the same time, relevant departments have tightened the classification of "mainland capital". At present, the island currently imposes strict regulations on investment from companies that are at least 30 percent mainland-owned.

Streaming services such as iQiyi have contributed to the economic and social development of Taiwan, while at the same time introducing high-quality film and television content to the people, enabling citizens on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to share popular culture. This has helped strengthen cross-strait connections.

The restrictive measures imposed by the DPP represent a form of "ideological leadership" that closely follows the US "anti-China" line, even if this means damaging the real interests of the Taiwan people. Some Taiwan media have labelled the DPP authorities' strict restrictions on investment as "stupid" and "causing harm with no benefits".

Ultimately, the DPP’s strict restrictions on the flow of mainland capital to the island will only succeed in making cross-strait economic and trade interactions more unbalanced. Taiwan’s economic and social development will inevitably struggle as industries will realize how difficult it is to be successful without support from the mainland. Considering the continuous improvement of the mainland's economic and industrial competitiveness, its attractiveness to Taiwan will be enhanced, while Taiwan's economy will struggle. 

The DPP is exposing its weakness by continuing to introduce these "decoupling" measures. In the face of the rise of the mainland, the DPP can only respond with extreme measures. While such a response will create certain obstacles to the development of cross-strait integration, it cannot get in the way of reunification. 

Why is India Anti-China but China is Not Anti-India?
Friday, August 7, 2020
Why is India Anti-China but China is Not Anti-India?

Long Xingchun, Executive Dean, and Zhang Sheng, researcher, Chengdu Institute of World Affairs, in Global Times (August 5, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: BMN Network)

Why is India Anti-China but China is Not Anti-India?

After the Sino-Indian conflict broke out in the Galwan Valley, the Indian government led a strong nationalist response giving birth to anti-Chinese sentiment. As a result, a simple border clash evolved into a complete economic decoupling with a widespread boycott of Chinese goods. The Indian government has even moved to ban 106 Chinese mobile apps while the Ministry of Education has started a review of Confucius Institutes and educational cooperation.

Meanwhile, there has been hardly any evidence of anti-Indian sentiment in China. The government has avoided introducing restrictions on Indian companies, and even the Chinese people have not retaliated by boycotting products.  China actually understands India's feelings as many Chinese people have felt that way themselves. During the Sino-Japanese dispute over the Diaoyu Islands, there were large-scale protests and boycotts of Japanese goods in many Chinese cities. These actions reflected a victim mentality associated with being a weak country.

China today is a prosperous and powerful country. Its achievements have cleared away its sense of inferiority and eased the pain of history. As such, China does not need to defend its national interests through such methods. As China has surpassed Japan on economic and military terms, anti-Japanese sentiment in Chinese society has actually diminished. 

Ultimately, India’s anti-Chinese sentiment is the natural reaction of the weak facing the strong. The undeniable fact is that China has the advantage over India in economic, political and military terms. The real danger now is that the Indian government is being trapped by ultra-nationalism and is trying to use anti-China sentiment for political gain. China and India have long had disagreements along their border, but economic and cultural cooperation has been an important foundation of their relationship. Maintaining that common ground of peace, stability and prosperity is the responsibility of both nations. 

A New Narrative is Needed for China-US Relations
Friday, June 26, 2020
A New Narrative is Needed for China-US Relations

Ruan Zongze, Executive Vice President, China Institute of International Studies, in Global Times (June 24, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit:

A New Narrative is Needed for China-US Relations

While competition, confrontation, decoupling and the “new Cold War” have all become the labels associated with China-US relations, not all hope is lost. The US is attempting to redefine the relationship. “Strategic competition" has become the key phrase to describe Washington’s policy towards Beijing. The US has stressed that "competition" is not “containment”, a term that had applied to American policy towards the Soviet Union.

The global pandemic, economic recession and anti-racism protests have complicated the US election year. The US has become lost, suspicious and angry. It needs to find a distraction to divert attention. Since President Donald Trump took office, he has launched "principled realism" in an effort to promote US interests.

Washington would uphold “principled realism” and adopt a competitive approach to China. This involves deliberately distorting China’s political system and strategic intentions while arrogantly exaggerating the “China threat” and falsely claiming that China has launched a challenge to the US’s economy, values and national security. As an excuse, it advocates a continued hardline policy to exert pressure on China across all fronts. In contrast to China's assertion of "harmony and difference", the US always wants to change others. Now, the US wants to change China with "principled realism".

The interests of all countries are deeply intertwined in the era of globalization, and China and the US are no exception. China is on the rise, and a more powerful and prosperous China can provide more effective solutions to the world’s problems. Trying to push Sino-US relations into a "new Cold War" is tantamount to creating more problems and reversing history. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that we all live in the same global village. Where the world will go after this crisis will depend on the wrangling between the two orders of multilateralism and unilateralism.

Taiwan will not be a Suitable Refuge for Hong Kong Youth
Monday, June 15, 2020
Taiwan will not be a Suitable Refuge for Hong Kong Youth

Zhang Yazhong, principal of the Sun Wen School in Taiwan, in Global Times (June 12, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: airbus777)

Taiwan will not be a Suitable Refuge for Hong Kong Youth

Taiwan’s Executive Yuan has drafted a humanitarian rescue plan which offers a route for Hong Kong people to seek political asylum in Taiwan. There are emotional, political, and legal factors behind why Taiwan is open to immigrants from Hong Kong. Emotionally, they are all part of the Chinese nation. Politically, there was a shared anti-Communist stance. Legally, Hong Kong is considered part of China.

Hong Kong pro-independence elements began to learn from Taiwan independence forces after the Sunflower Movement in 2014. Taiwan independence forces sent personnel to Hong Kong to train them in protesting and demonstrating. Both sides became teammates in promoting the anti-China narrative.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's support in the polls before 2019 was very low. Yet the more chaotic the situation was Hong Kong, the easier it was for Tsai to peddle her ideology of "terrorism, resistance and hatred” and ultimately win re-election. As Washington and Beijing have moved towards full-scale confrontation, Hong Kong's chaos has added firewood to Tsai’s pro-American, anti-China policies.

Beijing reckons that the violent separatists who want to "liberate” Hong Kong are the ones who will leave. What they seek is not freedom and democracy, but "independence", so the Hong Kong SAR government should be relieved to see these troublemakers gone.

The views of those that leave will complement those of the Taiwan pro-independence forces and strengthen the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s anti-Beijing stance. While most Taiwan people may be initially sympathetic, an influx of Hong Kong youths could lead to increased interference in Taiwan’s domestic affairs. The radical political activists will eventually realize that Taiwan is not their ideal home and will wish to move on. After all, the United States and other Western countries are where they really want to go.

Why has Trump Threatened a Flight Ban?
Monday, June 8, 2020
Why has Trump Threatened a Flight Ban?

Zhang Zhonglin, commentator on the civil aviation industry, in Guancha (June 4, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory

Why has Trump Threatened a Flight Ban?

Since May, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has rejected applications from three major US airlines to resume flight routes to China. In response, the US government announced that it would ban Chinese flights. If this ban is introduced, it would not only threaten China-US routes but make relations between Beijing and Washington even more tense.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in China at the end of January, major US airlines decided to ground flights between China and the United States in light of falling demand and to protect the health of employees. Shortly after, the US government made a politically motivated decision to ban the entry of all Chinese nationals.

As the pandemic spread, the situations in China and the United States reversed and the US aviation industry was seriously affected. By April, the three major US airlines expressed their desire to resume their routes to China. The uncontrolled epidemic in the US, however, meant this was impossible.

China has sufficient grounds not to approve the US airlines’ requests. The growth rate of Covid-19 cases in the US is at an alarming rate of more than 20,000 (currently over 40,000) a day. 

This proposed ban should be seen in the context of the political struggle with the US. If implemented, it will undoubtedly have a very serious impact on the return of Chinese citizens in the United States and charter flights organized by the embassy will also likely be affected. It is clear, however, that the US government really wants to allow US airlines to resume China-US routes. If so, the correct approach, rather than banning Chinese airlines, is to make a concession. US airlines should cooperate with the CAAC’s quarantine requirements on China-US flights and approve China's plans for charter flights.

Providing a Protective Umbrella for the People of Hong Kong
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Providing a Protective Umbrella for the People of Hong Kong

Wang Yao, columnist, in People’s Daily (May 28, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)

Providing a Protective Umbrella for the People of Hong Kong

On May 28, the National People's Congress (NPC) passed a vote to approve a National Security Law for Hong Kong. This will help to ensure the stability of "one country, two systems" and provide a “protective umbrella” for Hong Kong people to live and work in peace.

This law is a necessary step to plug the loopholes in Hong Kong's national security laws. It fully embodies the central government's strong will and determination to maintain national security and reflects the central government's overall interest in Hong Kong and its population. As such, the maintenance of national security is crucial and should not be delayed.

The legislation is both reasonable and legal, with national security legislation the purview of the central authority. As such, the decision has been made through comprehensive analysis, evaluation and judgment of various factors after fully communicating with relevant parties. Furthermore, the institutional arrangement conforms to the constitutional provisions and constitutional principles and is consistent with the relevant provisions of Hong Kong’s Basic Law.

Social stability is the prerequisite for addressing all problems including economic issues. If the situation in Hong Kong were to go unchecked, the well-being of Hong Kong’s population, the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong society and the strong rule of law and business environment in Hong Kong would all be lost.

Hong Kong has achieved remarkable results in its fight against Covid-19. All sectors of the society are eagerly expecting that Hong Kong can reunite and start again. Looking to the future, under the protection of national security legislation, Hong Kong can strengthen the system of the special administrative region and write a new chapter of economic prosperity and development for its citizens. Ultimately, Hong Kong will continue to make unique and important contributions to the great revival of the Chinese nation.

Pandemics Accelerate the Rise and Fall of Great Powers
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Pandemics Accelerate the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

Xie Maosong, senior researcher at the China Institute for Innovation & Development Strategy, in Guancha (May 25, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory

Pandemics Accelerate the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

Throughout history, pandemics have accelerated the rise and fall of major powers and civilizations.

If a powerful country that is in a continuous decline suddenly encounters a pandemic, its ability to respond effectively could be completely disabled. Instead, the crisis will intensify internal struggles and further accelerate the country’s decline. Conversely, if a powerful country is on the rise, a pandemic could inspire the government to utilize their strong organizational mobilization capabilities for society. The challenges commonly associated with the rise of a country can be overcome faster during the crisis and social cohesion will subsequently strengthen.

There are several examples of this. The Roman Empire collapsed following repeated outbreaks of the Black Death, which killed 25 million people between 1347 to 1353. While the Empire had long been deteriorating, this disease accelerated the process. In the 20th century, the pandemic referred to as the “Spanish flu”, which emerged at the end of the First World War in 1918, accelerated the rise of the US.

We can see similar patterns in the history of Chinese civilization. During the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 CE), there were more than ten major plagues, which accelerated its decline of the dynasty.

Although dynasties have risen and fallen, Chinese civilization has always survived, unlike Western civilization. A new dynasty represents a historical force that can draw on the lessons of the demise of the previous one. The continuity of ancient and modern Chinese civilizations provides a deeper understanding of the various levels of organization that China has demonstrated in its successful handling of the pandemic. This crisis, meanwhile, has exposed the political incapacity of the US. By comparing the two situations, we can appreciate the significance of the pandemic in accelerating the rise and fall of great powers. China must prepare for this. 

What the US Hopes to do in the Taiwan Strait
Monday, May 25, 2020
What the US Hopes to do in the Taiwan Strait

Li Haidong, Professor at the Institute of International Relations and Director of the Center for American Studies, China Foreign Affairs University, in Global Times (May 20, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit:

What the US Hopes to do in the Taiwan Strait

Despite the pandemic, the United States has made provocative moves over the Taiwan issue. Not only does it support Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the World Health Assembly (WHA), but American warships and military aircraft have repeatedly crossed the Taiwan Strait. Could this lead to conflict between China and the US?

Since 2017, the US government and Congress have pursued a coordinated approach to China, including on Taiwan-related issues. On Taiwan, the government has issued extreme resolutions or bills on the grounds of values, ideology or geopolitical competition. A series of bills, passed by Congress, have been quickly signed by the president. Once established, this approach is difficult to change. US policy towards China on Taiwan-related issues will only intensify.

Although American officials claim to adhere to the one-China policy, recent US legislation has reduced the importance of the principle. In the past three years, the US has issued such documents on Taiwan-related issues as the National Defense Authorization Act, while also strengthening official contacts with Taiwan and showing support for "Taiwan independence" actors. This is not only a reflection of the US abandoning its previous policy framework for engagement with China but also a demonstration of its moving towards a competitive stance.

Third, although the US government is dominated by super hawks who hold extreme positions against China, recent attitudes on the Taiwan issue show that the US still prefers to use Taiwan as a political and diplomatic tool to contain the mainland. For example, in response to Taiwan’s request to participate in the WHA, the US repeatedly gave verbal backing and encouraged other countries to provide support but never submitted any proposal.

Ultimate authority on the Taiwan issue remains on the mainland, as it has been in the past and will remain so in the future.

After Fighting the Pandemic, Will the World Start Preparing for War?
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
After Fighting the Pandemic, Will the World Start Preparing for War?

Li Yan, Deputy Director of the Institute of American Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), in Global Times (May 12, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Alana Langdon/US Navy)

After Fighting the Pandemic, Will the World Start Preparing for War?

An annual report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows that in 2019 the increase in global military expenditure was the biggest in 10 years. The total expenditure for all countries in the world now exceeds USD$1.9 trillion – a record post-Cold War high. The Covid-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the world and human society. It is therefore important to consider whether this crisis will change the trend towards military readiness and the potential of an arms race.

Global military spending has increased for two reasons. First, competition between countries over resources and territory has intensified causing the international security situation to evolve and produce conflict hotspots. This has resulted in increased militarization in various countries. Second, economic growth in major countries has provided the financial support for military spending.

The impact of the Covid-19 crisis alter those two reasons. First, the crisis may intensify competition between countries and strengthen the need for various nations to be militarily prepared. The international community has not responded to this pandemic in a unified way. As such, intensified competition between countries could become a world trend after 2020. Second, the economic depression caused by the crisis may greatly restrict military spending in many countries. The pandemic may help countries re-evaluate the cost-effectiveness of military expenditure and force countries to shift their focus away from focusing on defense.

Further increases in security requirements, along with the tremendous weakening of financial support, will mean that policymakers around the world face new challenges. In recent years, China has put forward the diplomatic concept of a "community of shared future for mankind". The enlightened nature of such Chinese concepts is increasingly important and should be used to help addresses issues of military readiness and their negative effects.

Strengthening China-Africa Ties in the Face of Covid-19 Challenges
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Strengthening China-Africa Ties in the Face of Covid-19 Challenges

Liu Zhaoyi, Director, South Africa Branch, Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University, in Global Times (April 30, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: GCIS, Republic of South Africa)

Strengthening China-Africa Ties in the Face of Covid-19 Challenges

The spread of Covid-19 across Africa has coincided with some negative comments against China in African media and on local social media platforms. These include conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus and claims that China is using aid to further control Africa.

The West, meanwhile, is waging a smear campaign against China by bandying terms such as “neo-colonialism” and “resource plundering”. These slurs have intensified during the Covid-19 crisis, influencing public opinion, particularly in the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Mainstream media in the West inevitably drown out Chinese voices. To counter this, China needs to consider the following:

First, the attitudes and policies of African governments towards China evolve with the external situation. As governments again look to maximize their own interests, the re-emergence of business pragmatism will prompt governments to repair their relationship with China.

Second, even with provocation from the West, there is no real anti-China wave in Africa. Rather, any acrimony is a result of emotions stemming from mounting economic pressure. This issue will eventually fade.

Third, some African politicians have the politicized the epidemic. Yet the African people remain kind hearted, even though public opinion may have been swayed by simplistic messages from external forces.

Fourth, the epidemic has made China-Africa bilateral research institutes, think tanks, non-governmental organizations and institutions realize that exchanges cannot rely on seminars and workshops. Instead, Chinese actors should come to Africa with clear goals, better planning and long-term strategies.

Finally, the importance of youth should not be overlooked. Chinese youth can show the next generation of young Africans that China is not just powerful and wealthy but can still relate to Africa on many levels and issues such as poverty alleviation, employment and development. China and Africa can therefore face common challenges and solve problems together.

Looking to the Future and Preparing for the Post-Epidemic Era
Friday, May 1, 2020
Looking to the Future and Preparing for the Post-Epidemic Era

He Shuquan, Professor, School of Economics, Shanghai University, in Guangming Daily (April 28, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Magda Ehlers/Pexels)

Looking to the Future and Preparing for the Post-Epidemic Era

The Covid-19 outbreak has had a huge economic impact on all countries around the world. After the pandemic, while globalization and global value chains will exhibit new trends of development, the fundamentals will not change.

First, Covid-19 has emerged at a time when global value and supply chains are deeply interconnected. As a result, the social and economic impact on countries affected by the virus will be more extensive.

Second, today's global production network and value chains have made the international trading system more and more complicated. Local demand-side and supply-side shocks can quickly spread to other countries, industries and sectors across the global value chain. Meanwhile, the negative impact on companies will also affect the global financial market.

Third, unlike previous economic and financial crises, the cause of the turmoil originated from outside the economic system. This means that the strength and resilience of various sectors and firms will determine their comparative advantages going forward.

Fourth, while the digital economy has shown an impressive rise and become a new hotspot for industrial development, the fundamentals of economic globalization and global value chains will not change. The physical manufacturing capacity of each country alongside the core competitiveness of firms will remain the key factors that support economic growth and development.

Finally, national public-health security will become a more important part of the business environment and a factor in international competitiveness. Multinational companies will pay greater attention to a host country's medical and public-health system as well as the government's ability to respond to epidemics. In addition, firms will put more focus on the resilience of supply chains.

In sum, opportunities are always reserved for those who are prepared. The epidemic will pass, but we must take a long-term perspective and prepare for the post-epidemic era.

A Fast – and Slow – Post-Crisis Economic Recovery
Friday, April 17, 2020
A Fast – and Slow – Post-Crisis Economic Recovery

Wu Ge, Chief Economist at Changjiang Securities, in Caixin (April 16, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory

A Fast – and Slow – Post-Crisis Economic Recovery

While a threat remains from imported cases and asymptomatic infections from abroad, China's Covid-19 epidemic situation has now been effectively controlled. With the country gradually returning to work, what will the economic recovery look like and what are the limitations?

China's important industries such as real estate and automobiles are starting to show signs of recovery from the stark lows reached during the first quarter. Services such as the food-and-beverage sector continue to struggle, with demand at around only half what it was at the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, there are still some positive signs of recovery. Furthermore, while domestic demand remains sluggish, there are signs that a broader slow-but-steady recovery is underway.

The economic impact of the Covid-19 virus spans both supply and demand. With the steady resumption of economic activity, labor and other supply factors have subsequently improved. In contrast, the sharp drop in the number of orders combined with the rise in the unemployment has resulted in a contraction of demand, leading to a wider economic recession. Falls of both China’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index PPI support this trend.

The speed of the economic recovery will depend largely on the success of countercyclical adjustment efforts. It is, however, also inevitable that other major economies will attempt to address their respective economic shocks. As such, to hedge against the severe challenges stemming from a drop in external demand and a broader global economic downturn, an expansion of China’s domestic credit will need to take place. Based on the evidence so far, the economic recovery will be an unbalanced process as domestic demand will be higher than external demand, while capital-intensive industries continue to recover faster than labor-intensive ones.

International Cooperation is the Only Way to Tackle the Global Crisis
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
International Cooperation is the Only Way to Tackle the Global Crisis

Da Wei, Assistant President and Professor, University of International Relations, in The Global Times (April 8, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: US Department of Defense/Glenn Fawcett)

International Cooperation is the Only Way to Tackle the Global Crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic has become the "first global crisis" in human history. Four major factors distinguish this crisis from previous events.

First, unlike terrorist attacks or war, this crisis stems from nature rather than the decisions or actions of people. Second, unlike US-centered incidents such as 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the three major economic regions in the world: East Asia, North America and Western Europe, and spread to nearly 200 countries with more than 3 billion people now under lockdown. Third, in terms of duration, humans may have to coexist with this crisis before anti-viral drugs or a vaccine is successfully developed. Fourth, unlike the 1918-20 flu pandemic, this one has spread through modern societies that are highly globalized and interdependent. This interdependence has led to wider political, economic and social shocks resulting in an unpredictable "butterfly effect".

This pandemic is the first global crisis facing humanity, threatening not just countries but mankind as a whole. Some experts regard this crisis as a precursor to the looming climate crisis. How we deal with today’s global crisis will determine to a large extent how we respond to the next one.

Experts on Sino-US relations have often joked that only an alien invasion would prompt relations to return to its previous level of cooperation. Today, the "alien" has arrived in the form of a virus. At this historic juncture, China and the United States have no choice but to cooperate. Fortunately, Sino-US relations have already started to show signs of improvement with some positive momentum towards closer cooperation. Both China and the United States must urgently put aside politics and instead strengthen bilateral action. Cooperation is essential in tackling the first global crisis in human history.