Coronavirus: A Turning Point in World Politics

This blog is inscribed by Tananjay Singh.

Coronavirus or COVID-19 a deadly virus originated in Wuhan, China. The first case of the Coronavirus was reported on December 1 2019. However, China hides the spread of the Virus from World and Wuhan Municipal Health Commission; China initially reported a deadly Virus as a cluster of cases of pneumonia on December 31 2019. After this on January 4 2020, WHO wrote on social media that there was a cluster of pneumonia cases with no deaths in Wuhan, China. World Health organisation published its first report on the new Virus and issued advisory guidelines to other countries. Some nation alleges that WHO failed in providing timely warning about Virus but WHO denied these allegations.   

Tug of war between China, Europe and the United States over COVID-19

In this tug of war, China is on one side, and the USA and Europe are one side. Nobody knows that this Coronavirus which was initially not seen as a big problem in the world will change the world politics for forever. When this Virus starts spreading in China, all major powers like the USA, European union were helping china to hinder the spread of this Virus. However, when this deadly Virus drastically starts spreading in Europe, the scenario was changed entirely. Most superpowers are affected by this Virus, and nobody has any way to stop this Virus. Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the UK, the worlds one of the most developed countries seems helpless in to obstruct the spread of this Virus.

Nevertheless, this is also not the main event when a world politics are turning around; the main event happened when the Coronavirus knocks the gate of USA. The world sees the largest spread in any country of Novel Coronavirus. When the Virus was in the initial stage of spreading in the USA, it already killed thousands of people in Europe and China. However, Trump was assuming it as a Piece of a cake, and he keeps assuring the citizens of the USA that they do not need to worry that his Government is capable of handling this Virus. Moreover, when this Virus starts spreading in the USA, Trump starts calling the Coronavirus as a Wuhan virus because the first case was reported from Wuhan, China. Now a new game begins in world politics; the Blame game. When the USA starts calling Coronavirus as a Wuhan virus and off Course, china did not like this, and they expressed their repugnance at the allegations. The Chinese foreign ministry retaliates by saying that US army bought coronavirus pandemic to Wuhan, this starts a war of words between the US and China. 

When European countries failed in to hinder the speed of spread of the Virus, the world sees the largest lockdown in recent years in Europe. Most of the countries announced lockdown to impede the spread of this deadly Virus as physical distancing is the only way to control the spread. This lockdown costs countries billions of the dollar, and it is destroying the economies of these countries. At the time when Europe was watching one of the most extended lockdowns, dramatically China starts opening its cities, malls, schools, metro and factories. China starts exporting Medical equipment like ventilators, masks, PPEs, testing kits, etc. to the affected countries. China also started tourism-related activities and opened the forbidden city for tourists. 

This starts a new series of the word of war between European countries and China; the alleged that this was a criminal conspiracy by china to ruin the global economy and it wants to be the global superpower. Leaders of European Union and the US also alleges that initially, China covers up the spread of the Virus to store medical equipment which China was importing from different countries of the world and then Sold them to crisis-hit nations. The Chinese Government is continuing its tactics of deception and suppression. Even after the crisis has ostensibly triumphed, secrecy remains tight, and hospital data remain sketchy. The disappearance of whistle-blower doctors Ai Fen and Li Wenliang also raises the question. Clearly, laboratories studying the pathogen were ordered to kill samples negating the likelihood of identifying the exact source of the Virus thus shutting down the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center which had released the genome sequence of the Virus. All these reports from China suggest that China intentionally spread this Virus to take the lead over the USA in the global economy. China responded that this is a baseless allegation so that they can hide their failure from people as they failed in to control the spread of this deadly Virus. The USA said that they are investigating whether this Virus is originated in Wuhan lab or not, and initial findings are against china. Trump said he will make China liable and will claim damages if it proves. Ironically against which the US is investigating, American agency provides funds of more than $3 million for research to that lab. The US also alleges that WHO becomes a Puppet of china and whom chief Tedros Adhanom works as an agent of the Chinese Government. So, Trump holds on Americas funding to the WHO, which is the largest contributor to its fund.

India’s Role During Coronavirus Pandemic

When the US, China and other countries were engaging themselves in Allegation Politics, India remains silent and has been playing a crucial role in the world since the Coronavirus outbreak. India plays a significant role during a pandemic, both domestically and globally.

Since the crisis erupted, India’s approach has been proactive, including on the diplomatic front. One among the primary steps taken by India was to evacuate citizens of various countries alongside its own citizens from Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the primary COVID-19 outbreak. Those evacuated included citizens from Indian Ocean Region countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Maldives, South Africa, and Madagascar.

In the battle against COVID-19, India has emerged as a leading supplier of life-saving medicines to various countries worldwide. Accordingly, India sents a  shipment of life-saving drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, to the United States, Europe, Brazil and many other countries.

COVID-19 offered an opportunity for India to deal with the irritants in its relations with some countries, notably Iran and Malaysia. India’s relations with both these countries have been strained in recent months because  Iran and Malaysia criticised India on Kashmir issue. Nevertheless, India and Iran have recently cooperated in evacuating the stranded Indians in Iran. The President of Iran later talks to Narendra Modi requesting support from India to deal with the outbreak of Coronavirus in Iran. Besides that, India sent a wheat consignment to Afghanistan via the Chabahar port in Iran. Regarding Malaysia, India has agreed to provide anti-malarial drugs, indicating improvement within the bilateral relations.

India’s outreach within the Indian Ocean Region, and thus the broader Indo-Pacific region, was parallel with China’s outreach through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India’s rivalry with China may be called asymmetrical owing to gaps in both countries’ economic and military capabilities. However, China’s development projects have resulted in indebtedness for several countries with limited resources. This example creates a chance for India to present its alternative to countries within the Indian Ocean Region, which might also facilitate increasing India’s footprint within the region. The COVID-19 crisis has set up a discussion about the world order in the longer term. Today more and more countries around the world have an unfavourable view of China.

On the contrary, India was sufficiently nimble-footed to allow this opportunity and create goodwill, which could end up in elevated status in the post-COVID-19 era. India has also based much of its resources on the strategically critical Indian Ocean region, exploiting it. India’s Indian Ocean Region diplomacy could describe its place within the growing world order.

Conclusion

When the world is a facing a global threat to humanity, blame game politics by some Nations shows us that significant superpowers do not care about society. Still, their main aim is to maintain that superpower status. It was need of the hour that we should remain united to fight this Virus, but we failed to do so. When China was selling faulty testing kits to Virus affected countries to earn money, India emerged as an example to other countries, that how other nations need to react to global threats.  The Coronavirus is a threat to humanity, and to eliminate this Virus from the world. We should come together and help each other in fighting this pandemic.

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