The impact of Coronavirus pandemic on world politics can definitely not be understated. While it has affected every walk of life, the effect on politics has been the most prominent and visible. It has resulted in the postponement of elections, suspension of legislatures, and the isolation of multiple prominent politicians. So, let us analyze how some major developed countries were affected politically by the virus.
United States of America (USA)
The USA has been very severely affected by the virus. Apart from the general political consensus by analysts that the virus has hurt chances of President Trump’s re-election in the 2020 elections, the country has also had to face a plethora of other problems. It has adopted a social approach that is very novel for a capitalist economy like the US. The country is now stressing on universal health care, universal child care, and an increased level of public expenditure on public health.
The country also brought out the CARES Act(Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) to allay concerns regarding the free-fall of the stock market. This changing scenario of global politics is expected to shape the way the USA will decide its future economic and trade policies.
The US has also come under criticism by many countries who stated that it has hijacked shipments of medical equipment. Among several other countries, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has stated that there are firm allegations that medical supplies originally intended for Canada were diverted to the US. Germany and France have also made similar claims, terming this as “modern piracy.”
China, the original source for the virus, is also not unaffected politically. Despite a marvelous response and a phenomenal recovery rate, the damage has already been done. Several administrators at the provincial level have been fired due to their poor and inadequate response to the virus. However, it has been speculated that these officers were only scapegoats in an attempt to keep Secretary and President Xi Jinping’s image clean and spotless.
The political scenario amid the Coronavirus crisis has also changed the way that China is dealing with the Hong Kong and Taiwan crisis. Protests in Hong Kong have intensified after fears that the virus could cause a high influx of immigrants from China. Taiwan has also raised its voice against being included in any type of travel ban that involves China.
The Chinese government has been harshly criticized for its handling of the virus and its dissemination of information to the rest of the world. The US and Brazil are two of the countries most staunchly opposing China since the virus originated in China.
The Chinese govt. has also been trying to consolidate its image as a world power at this time, by using state propaganda to project itself as a uniquely powerful government capable of curbing the virus, and also sending medical supplies to various countries all across the world, including the African Union. This has been dubbed as a political move by China seeking to establish itself as a major player at a time when Western governments are in chaos over the virus.
Any article about the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on world politics is incomplete without discussing the European Union. As usual, the EU has called for greater cooperation between its member countries in order to present a united stand against the virus through mutual help and cooperation. However, Germany has banned the entire export of PPE masks even after this decision, and France has also banned the export of medical equipment. This has angered EU officials who are calling for greater solidarity.
However, they have called for a series of moves and strategies designed to assist every member country in dealing with the virus. Several countries have come together to launch the Corona-Bond. This is a way of raising money to fund public expenditure on health facilities and medical research. Since it is being guaranteed by so many countries, the risk of default is virtually zero, and this gives them the power to reduce the interest rates offered. This proposal was discussed in an EU meeting on 26 March 2020, and 9 countries called to offer to guarantee the bond, including France, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, and Spain.
The EU has also released an official statement requesting citizens to cooperate with the government. This has been interpreted as being in reference to the recent ruling by the Hungarian government, granting them plenary powers for the duration of the epidemic. While the government has guaranteed that there is a limit on the scope and duration of these powers, several political analysts have expressed fear regarding what this means for the future political scenario of the country.
Coronavirus updates in India have been no less scary than in any other country. On 24th of March, PM Narendra Modi declared a 21-day countrywide lockdown. This was done with the aim of social distancing and to prevent people from coming into close contact with each other and thereby helping spread the virus. While this was greatly praised by several countries around the world, there have been several incidents since then that have put the general public safety into question.
For starters, there has been a large-scale migration by migrant-workers returning to their homes in huge groups. This has totally defeated the purpose of the lock-down. Also, several religious gatherings have been held even after the lock-down was declared. This has also drawn a lot of media attention and criticism from world media.
Modi has also proposed a joint SAARC fund to help combat the Coronavirus. Most member countries of the SAARC have invited India to be the Chairman of the Corona Committee in recognition of India’s brilliant efforts to fight against the virus.
A few days back, the lockdown period was extended till 3rd May which resulted in some raised eyebrows but it was really needed to be safe and secured.
The impact of coronavirus pandemic on world politics has been huge, and long-lasting. It will not be an understatement to say that this virus could change the entire political scenario of the world, by establishing new major players and forcing old players to retire.
STAY AT HOME…STAY SAFE