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Some Economic and Political Factors of Coronavirus Outbreak

24 3 2
18.02.2020

The epidemic caused by a new strain of Coronaviruses, called “2019-nCOV” by the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 30, is becoming a crucial factor in the current phase of ongoing political and economic processes.

Although the author lacks the expertise to discuss either the origins or the spread of the viral outbreak, he feels it prudent to admit that he shares the opinion of pundits who have expressed their bewilderment regarding the clear disparity between the scale of the epidemic and its effect on the aforementioned processes.

At present, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the global economy is potentially heading for a disaster. It would suffice to allude to various problems that are bound to arise when foreign investment and capital flow into the Chinese economy dry up. After all, the PRC has been one of the key drivers of growth of the global economy.

Leading Japanese companies (most notably, automobile manufacturers) that operate within China have already begun revising their business plans. Various reasons for such a move have been mentioned and so has the “word” Coronavirus.

In China itself, there is now talk about the need for contingency plans for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, a key government project) aimed at strengthening “communication with officials and businesses in countries along the BRI routes to solve any problem as quickly as possible.” Such discussions began only two weeks after President Xi Jinping’s triumphant visit to Myanmar. A key outcome of this trip was a significant breakthrough in BRI-related talks.

It is also worth noting that the global threat, posed by 2019-nCOV, appeared around the same time when it became apparent that there was a solid chance the trade conflict........

© New Eastern Outlook