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5 Ways International Relations Will Change Post Covid19

The US – China trade war was at its peak when the Covid19 struck. While the earth is enjoying its reboot mode, global economy struggles for breathe. Third month in a row. The trade war between the two powerful countries dates back to 2018. In an astounding move, Trump’s government imposed large scale tariffs on Chinese goods to encourage local consumption of American goods. In retaliation, China imposed further tariffs on American goods. These changing international relations between the two countries provided regular fodder to world media and speculators for over 2 years.

However, when Coronavirus struck – it paralyzed not only the American economy but also some of the other leading world players. India included. This is also a time for a major reset in international relations.

With Corona- affected countries already facing tensions regarding trade of essential supplies and medicines, it is but a question of time till we can draw an ally and axis chart of a Post Covid19 world.

  1. World sanctions on China: Condemned by some of the biggest global economies for impaling the world order. Post Covid19, China is set to face stiff challenges on the diplomatic and economic front. While the United States of America has already imposed sanctions on China under the COVID-19 Accountability Act, a German daily Bild has slapped an unusual bill on Beijing, China as Covid damages to the tune of 150 billion Euros. With US and a part of Europe already against China, it is just a wait and watch until how many other nations join this bandwagon. Trade sanctions and visa restrictions are just the tip of the iceberg here.
  1. India – China partnership: While this relationship is has always been far too complex for one to easily decipher. The cross border dynamic between these two countries is further judged by India’s reaction to this crisis. Unlike, United States, India has chosen to stay away from the China blame gaming. Though Indian experts on China have maintained that it was infact the country’s fault in concealing details of the pandemic, India has till date refrained from speaking against the nation. This can also be due to India’s demand for medical and healthcare supplies which can currently only be satiated by China.
  1. Eu – China relationship: China was for long trying to replace their strained relationships with the US by substituting it with deeper ties with Europe. China is Europe’s second biggest trade partner after the United States of America. However, the Covid19 pandemic has led in exposing the gaps between the Brussel – Beijing partnership. The government’s approach for a ‘business as usual’ conduct towards Beijing is hard to contain. However, EU has maintained the stand that it will take a stock of the EU- China relationship only once the pandemic has passed by. It will be interesting in the days to watch how this relationship between the two majors further evolves.
  1. India’s relationship with the world: India has played an instrumental part in helping the world combat Covid19. From providing medical supplies to testing kits, India has stepped up to help it’s friends in need. However, Trump’s threat over the release of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) supplies, demands a relook at Indo – US relationships post this pandemic. With PM Modi’s latest call for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, this may well be a strategy to build the subcontinent as the next manufacturing hub for western countries. According to an HDFC Bank report, India has already received inquiries from the EU and US for textiles, homeware and ceramics thus establishing that India may be next in line to become China’s alternative for the world.  India has already reached out to MNC’s in Germany, Japan, Russia and South Korea with an offer for a minimum cost of relocation from China.
  1. China and the rest of the world: Though, the most affected victims of the Covid19 pandemic are US, China, Europe and India, the world population is much bigger than that. To be precise, 6 Billion people who live in 191 countries. Most of these countries are headed by diplomats who will only keep in mind the welfare of their citizens and not personal sentiments while choosing an ally. If statistics are to be matched, China currently is the world’s largest trading superpower. China has also stepped up in the past to rescue countries out of impending liquidity problems. As an infrastructure superpower it came to Africa’s rescue to build infrastructure for the nation. It also helped rescue Italy out of a soup during the Covid19, when it’s fellow EU neighbors took a step back. This has to certain extent helped in cementing China – Italy relations contrary to however the existing China – EU relations are looking.

The China – EU – US – triangle is only going to escalate from hereon. However, with skillful negotiations there may be an active chance that China can sway world politics in its favour. Even amidst the growing threat of the virus, there are some countries who have chosen to take a neutral stand. It is a matter of time, till we know who is going to be the next global superpower in the New Normal.

The views are writer’s personal. How do you think international relations in a post Covid19 world will look? Let me know in the comments below.

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