First of all, it should be affirmed that in the beginning, it was a public health crisis, but very quickly this crisis went beyond the scope of a conventional medical crisis to become a comprehensive crisis in the economic, financial, cultural and social fields ...
If Covid-19 is not quickly extinguished, the second Great Depression within a century, which would be equal to or more serious than the Great Depression 1929-1933 and the first Great Depression in the 21st century, will become a reality and be a constant worry of all nations, transnational corporations and large international organizations.
It should be remembered that the first Great Depression fundamentally redrew the balance of power in Europe and the world, along with the emergence of Fascism and then World War II, which claimed the lives of tens of millions of people.
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed a series of weaknesses and inadequacies in national governance and social governance on a national, regional and global scale.
The Covid-19 pandemic is also a strict warning and reminder of the harsh behavior of humans towards nature, which people pay for their behavior. Although the cost is expensive, this is only the initial cost, and the cost will be much higher later if system errors are not completely overcome.
The post-pandemic world should be imagined as follows:
1. There is a high possibility that an unprecedented large civil campaign will emerge globally, with a series of hearings, legal actions, and "truth-finding" missions launched to track down the source of the virus, pandemic causes and review all the current processes.
The implementation of the recommendations or conclusions from the campaign could cause many politicians to lose their positions, and promote important geopolitical and strategic displacement, as well as the formation of new alliances and new forces at regional and global levels.
Countries in general, especially Western ones, are extremely sensitive to the lives of their citizens. In many cases, the Prime Minister or President of Western countries had to directly deal with "small" incidents that involved only one citizen who was abducted or murdered abroad.
The spread of the deadly coronavirus, which killed hundreds of thousands of people and infected millions of others and caused huge economic losses for many countries throughout the world, is something hard to ignore. Other things are temporarily shelved because everyone, every country has to worry about the epidemic and their survival.
However, when the virus gradually disappears, it will be the time for interrogation, including fierce and brutal "revenge", when social forces in many countries try to find the origin of the virus, for the sole purpose of preventing the repeat of the same tragedy or to at least minimize the impacts.
Some of the following questions will probably be explored in depth to clarify, for example: Where and in what context did Covid-19 appear? How did the virus spread really work, especially for person-to-person transmission? Were the World Health Organization's findings and warnings timely and effective in preventing the pandemic outbreaks? If not, what were the causes, and what does WHO need to do to better its work?
What were the failures of leading US and Western intelligence agencies when they could not give early warnings? Why were the world's leading infectious disease scientists and experts in the United States so helpless in giving early warnings to prevent the pandemic outbreaks?
What was the reason for the serious shortage of essential medical equipment? If we could start over, would local governments, nations or international organizations have done better? Who made mistakes in this, and why did they let it happen?
And there are many other questions. Raising questions means seeking answers and solutions to prevent a tragedy so that it can never happen again in the future.
Relationship between two superpowers
The "post-coronavirus pandemic era" will witness an acceleration, not a reduction of geostrategic and geopolitical competition globally and in key geographic areas abundant in resources such as Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, and Africa.
Only three months before the pandemic outbreak, a comprehensive strategic competition between China and the United States, especially in trade issues, was the top concern of countries in the world. This concern was suddenly sunk due to the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The "Cold War 2.0" that people were "eager" to see was temporarily "delayed". The “détente” and "cooperation" between China and the US we are witnessing today is provisional because the medical crisis and the coronavirus have directly affected both superpowers, forcing them to work together for their survival.
It is likely that this cooperation will soon "die prematurely" once the Covid-19 epidemic ends. This is similar to the "cooperation" and "allied relations" between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Second World War against the "axis" led by the Nazis.
Only one year after the defeat of the fascists and the end of World War II in 1945, Soviet-US relations returned to the inevitable state of confrontation. This is also consistent with the antagonistic nature of the two economic forms, the two ideological systems that are completely opposite.
For Sino-US relations, there are at least three reasons to see that tensions will come back soon:
Firstly, the basic issues leading to suspicions and contradictions between China and the US have not been completely resolved. The first-phase trade agreement signed at the end of 2019 only touches the top and the time is not enough to test the positive impact of this agreement in easing tensions between China and the US.
Secondly, the coronavirus pandemic deepened suspicions and reduced Sino-US strategic trust which had been seriously hurt before. For example, despite China's fierce opposition and the WHO changing the name of the virus, President Trump, in many cases, still insisted on using the word "Chinese Virus" or "Wuhan Virus".
Even at the most stressful time of dealing with the epidemic, the US still "did not forget" passing a number of laws that support Taiwan in diplomacy and military to control China later.
Thirdly, China and the US are unspokenly in a very fierce race to see which side will reach the "finish" first in fighting Covid-19 and which side will be out of the "war" with less serious injuries.
Both China and the United States understand that fighting Covid-19 is a battle for survival, and no mistakes are allowed because the cost is that the rival will advance ahead.
Any country that escapes the epidemic early means that they can soon embark on restoring production and normal life of the people, increase their national capacity, and at the same time support their allies, while the enemy still struggles in hard times.
Hoang Anh Tuan