Changing Regional and Global Dynamics due to Coronavirus


Changing Regional and Global Dynamics due to Coronavirus

Waqas Zulfikar Sangi

Humanity has never before confronted a crisis quite like Covid-19, one that has concurrently challenged both the limits of public health systems everywhere and the ability of countries to work together on a shared challenge of transnational security threats. And while its geopolitical, geo-economic, and geostrategic implications are drastically changing the world order, and the cradle of liberalism—USA— has done nothing so far to save the dying spirit of globalism.

Global orders have a tendency to change gradually at first and then all at once; thanks to globalization and related effects. The question on the credibility of the global institutions, USA. being a global superpower, and the ideas such as ‘end of history’ thesis are under threat. Meanwhile, China as the first country to tackle the menace of Covid-19 has proved that it is not only the democracy that ensures the public well-being and safety domestically and globally, but authoritarianism can also do it in a better way. Is this a resurgence of an alternative political ideology? Is the world moving towards yet another nationalism? Do we still need super-sonic missile systems and nuclear weapons? Is Covid-19 more harmful than the looming threats of climate change? Let’s analyze the impacts of Covid-19 on global power dynamics.

Globalization: an end or more interdependency?

The new corona-virus is appearing to be an enormous stress test for globalization. As serious supply chains break down, and nations reserve medical supplies for domestic use only and air blockade to preserve territorial and national integrity, the crisis is demanding the reassessment of the interconnected global economy. Not only has globalization allowed for the rapid spread of contagious disease but it has also fostered deep interdependence between private companies and nations making the world more vulnerable to the virus [as it was the Chinese cheap labor that frequently traveled all around the world under the vision of Xi’s new globalization—BRI]. However, it is also the same globalization that has been saving the world. For instance, China under its mask diplomacy is filling the power vacuum of the leading superpowers. Globalization has now become an inevitable phenomenon. The only way to save the earth is to learn the art of living together.deglobalization-localization-lego-globe-ben-fearnley

USA: a wounded tiger in the search of global credibility

Throughout its history, the United States has had visionary, charismatic leadership at the time of great crises: George Washington during the revolution and the American war of independence, Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression and World War II. Richard Nixon during the communist Soviet’s resurgence with his containment policy, Eisenhower’s ‘Atom for Peace’ initiative for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Nonetheless, Trump, due to his conservative, polarized and racist ideology, unfortunately, has not proved himself to be anywhere close to such a leader. The ‘America first’ slogan has made the US a wounded tiger that isn’t fit to protect the jungle anymore. Covid-19 has further cemented the argument that the populism leads to a catastrophic state of affairs. Trump’s negligence towards the pandemic has made the US a country with maximum deaths leaving even the Italy behind. Although US foreign policy now under Trump is nationalism-oriented, yet it is ready to go to any means to stop the rise of China. When the entire world is busy tackling the virus; Trump is pronouncing it as ‘just another flu’ and now it is facing the music. USA must come out of IRAN, and NORTH KOREA-phobia, it is high time USA prioritized the non-traditional security threats in its international agenda or else the world would soon lose its faith in the USA’s credibility.29coronavirus_editorial-superJumbo-v7

China: the new sphere of influence

Although China hid the crisis from the world in its critical early days yet it has again emerged from the ashes to play its responsible role on the world stage. China’s mask diplomacy is filling the holes left by the USA and consequently helping China to mold globalization, soft power, and public opinion in its favor. China is rising peacefully. The way it has been rising according to its strategic culture—Silently, and cooperatively. Xi’s other achievement after neutralizing Hong Kong protests is the saving of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the pandemic crisis. He once again is using the notion of civilization-state and nationalism to stay in power. Covid19 is helping China to alter the liberal world order as ‘Confucian World order’. Citizens of Italy have replaced the EU flag with China’s red flag, the region which was once considered ‘kingdom of globalism and capitalism’ is now influenced by the ‘reds’. The containment policy seems to be against the USA now. Covid19 did no harm to BRI, Chinese soft power, regionalism, and neoliberalism instead it has further consolidated the Xi’s thought. 

Nationalism versus the globalism: let the fight begin!

The Covid19 has unleashed a debate: whether the world need nationalism or the globalism? The answer is ambiguous. But one thing is for sure, the world would surely go for regionalism and nationalism. The political leaders due to their inefficiency have learned the art of blaming abstract globalization and immigration inflow towards their respective countries. Nonetheless, the pandemic is now further helping them to support their authoritative notion of sealing the borders.  However, the leaders around the world must understand that the spirit of globalism could only save them from the curse of corona-virus and other non-traditional security threats.coronavirussurveyhealthhabits

Technology: a good servant and a bad master

The emergence of Artificial intelligence has changed the course of almost everything. The 21st century appears to be a competing arena for ‘data’ which could be used as a tool for staying in power. The algorithms would be used to maintain the personal health statics, record, surveillance of all the individuals over the cost of healthy life. And the same data would be manipulated by the strongmen for extending their power base. Gone are the days when authoritarians used to have millions to spy in the city, social media has made it easy for them.  The global agenda for using technology as a blessing is missing, making it vulnerable to power-mongers. Covid-19 is undoubtedly going to help them all.

Fake news and propaganda: controlling minds is controlling the world

Covid19 has also helped fake news to strengthen its roots to distort the image of truth. TV channels are busy in telecasting the fake news about the virus’ outbreak. The conspiracy theories in such times when humanity is crippling for its survival could bring the world on the verge of another global war. Soon the pandemic is going to be over but the culture of lie and fake news is going to stay with us.


The third world countries: money makes the mare go!

Covid19 would now work as an eye-opener for the poor nations. The biggest challenge here is to China to help its fellow BRI countries and regional key players of Asia such as Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh to materialize its dream of ‘Asia for Asians’. The war-torn regions are now on the biggest hit of the virus. It was only Pakistan that agreed to help Afghanistan when even the USA, and India abandoned it. Similarly, the Palestinians’ responsibility lies upon Israel’s shoulders, Syria’s on Russia and Turkey, Iraq’s on Iran, and Africa in the sphere of influence of China. This might be the biggest test of their temperament and spirit of a collective good. No country has, however, emerged as victorious in this game of morality. reporting-the-impact-of-covid-19-og

Failing global institutions: the feeble organizations amid the geopolitical rivalry

The United Nations is silent and politically biased under Antonio’s leadership. The World Trade Organization (WTO) hasn’t been able to reduce the tariff barriers on the medical items. World Health Organization (WHO) presents a useful global plane but lacks a global consensus to agree upon. European Union (EU) faces existential threats and has altered the essence of its very foundation by closing borders to their neighbors for the first time in generations. The geopolitical rivalry has made global organizations weak and toothless. The only country responsible for this entire mess in the global arena is the USA. First the Jerusalem episode, then the maximum pressure policy on Iran, covert operation to kill Qasim Sulemani- the former commander in chief of the Iranian Quds force, hasty withdrawal from the war-torn areas and now the global indifference towards the non-traditional security threats. In the backdrop of all this chaos, the institutions must work on their financial system as to get rid of biased approached and dictation of a single hegemonic player.

Not too late: humanity would survive

The world in these crucial times has to make a firm decisions. Staying with democracy or authoritarianism? Believing in global institutions or dismantling them all? Playing global responsible role or upholding the notion of nationalism? Ending trade barriers on medicines or adopting protectionist trade policies at the expense of their local industry? Every decision taken today would shape our future for generations to come. Stay home and stay safe everyone!  

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