ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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China-bashing and Post-COVID-19 Narrative

A Reality Check

The disruption of supply chains caused by COVID-19 has led to predictions that international firms will relocate production away from China, benefiting other emerging economies, including India. However, China’s integration with the global economy in terms of international finance, investment, construction and as a low-cost location for global production is now so deep that such changes will neither be quick nor painless.  In fact, China’s innovations might allow it to even reinforce its position in the global economy.

China-bashing has become a common theme in the post-COVID-19 political economy narrative. Beyond the surface, there seem to be two distinct aspects to it. First, as an originator of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (hereafter COVID-19, for brevity), there are widespread rumours that the virus could have been the outcome of some Hollywood thriller-like clandestine scientific experiments in China. Such rumours got credence in repeated utterances of United States (US) President Donald Trump, who coined the phrase the Chinese virus. In the absence of any firm evidence, such accusations appear to be frivolous and are akin to the stereotyped conspiracy theories that tend to spring after any major crisis. But there is a second and more important dimension to it that calls for more serious attention. Increasingly, one tends to come across reports that in the post-COVID-19 world, businesses are going to be relocated from China, which will make China a far weaker economy and would benefit many other emerging economies, including India. In this article, we contest such suppositions. We argue that it will not be easy for countries to relocate economic activity from China, and that Chinese influence over the global economy has become too deep-rooted and diverse to be reduced significantly.

Narrative of Punishing China

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Published On : 12th Jan, 2024

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