After the pandemic, China will have a competitive advantage that no one escapes. Of course, you will not miss the opportunity.
The incredible irony is that the Beijing regime will draw a stupendous slice from the formidable Covid-19 crisis. The state that concealed and silenced the epidemic that started in Wuhan City while it was well on its way to being the winner of the global war on the virus. Fifteen precious days were lost in early December when brave whistleblowers who understood the seriousness of the outbreak gave the alert and were retaliated against. Far from China, it has been learned how the contagion curve shoots up in less than two weeks. Beijing acted in the same way as the no less totalitarian Moscow regime when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant caught fire, but its initial cover-up will not have the same consequences.
China is rebuilding its productive fabric when the plots of others are still in tatters. They are things on the calendar: the first to get sick is cured before the others. They are also the bargains of authoritarianism that terrorize the population: the regime led by Xi Jinping can deceive and lie but, at the same time, it can put millions in quarantine overnight and, in addition, ensure that the order is strictly adhered to.
Safe and sound again, Beijing will gain a competitive advantage that no one escapes. Of course, he will not miss the opportunity and will act with the subtlety that is supposed to leaders who are unaware of short-termism. What China is doing at the moment is flexing the muscles of soft power with the massive shipment of doctors and masks, protective overalls, gloves and glasses to Italy, the country that has succeeded it as the epicenter of the coronavirus. Spain will benefit from a similar length.
The solidarity shown by Xi Jinping, the object of a cult of personality that remembers the one Mao Zedong received with the exception that he directs a very great economic power, is still sarcasm. She is interested from start to finish. Nothing is free and there are no free lunches or fans.
The common mortals do not usually look at the tooth of the gift horse and the desperate Italians, with their health system close to complete collapse, such a precaution does not occur to them. Nor will it occur to the no less distressed Spanish, who will be the next to benefit from Chinese “generosity”. Welcome be Mister Xi Jinping. The progressive coalition government will receive you very warmly because it is the champion of a public power that does not put itself in profile.
Thanks to the coronavirus, the hieratic secretary general of a Communist Party whose cadres have 90 million disciplined members is now free to dominate the new 5G world of connectivity. And it has it to guarantee its Great Leap Forward and build its long-awaited Silk Road of the 21st century. This is the imposing initiative called One Belt, One Road that will pivot global trade to China by linking Beijing to Brussels by sea and rail.
Beijing will advance on charred roads because the western market is prostrated by the epidemic that China exported and it will be able to acquire at a bargain price whatever it wants. You will selectively go shopping because you need to reconstruct western consumption patterns. Overcome the plague in his private courtyard and reinforced his political power, Xi Jinping may well intuit that Europe will offer little resistance. He will cook it for you and he will eat it. The great Chinese helmsman is not without reason. The Old Continent is unarmed and waiting for a savior. In one place after another, ideological confusion and loss of leadership reign, which are the main political consequences of the pandemic. Anything can happen and a Chinese prevalence is one of them.
Governments that were convicted and confessed liberals until yesterday launched themselves by way of the stimuli of the New Deal, statism and interventionism without contemplation in the daily life of civil society. It is given to the banknote printing machine and the prudent fiscal policies that ensure stability are torn apart and thrown in the trash. In the European Union, each of the Twenty-seven locks at their border crossings and goes it alone. The first to isolate itself is Germany and the Teutonic distrust of any mutualization of community debt is well known.
Not so long ago, European liberal democracy had its own champion, which was the United States. You can’t count on him today. The transatlantic link, already wobbly since the arrival at the White House of the unpredictable Donald Trump, is completely inoperative when, due to the coronavirus, the planes have stopped flying over the puddle. Trump, a specialist in winners, is very capable of understanding himself a thousand wonders with Xi Jinping.