globalization

Will Coronavirus Bring Globalization to a Halt?

If there is one leader who has the ability to consign political correctness to the dustbin and blurt out what is on his mind, it is none other than Donald Trump. In a significant tweet that may have wide implications, Trump specifically referred to the coronavirus as the ‘Chinese Virus’. Though many of his detractors heaped abuse on him for using the phrase and termed him a racist, his supporters were equally vociferous in defending him.

China, with his sprawling territory, vast standing army and gargantuan manufacturing base, is fast emerging as a superpower. Its highly authoritarian communist regime, with its unrivalled opacity and conspiratorial secrecy, has acquired a knack for executing things at breakneck speed by imposing iron discipline.

Chinese manufacturing industry acquired a reputation for manufacturing cheaper products and bringing them within the reach of even the common people. As a result, most of the Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) shifted their production centers to China to take advantage of the cheap labor. This made many developed countries feel jealous of the achievements of the Chinese. It also made them detest globalization to a great extent, which they feel took away their jobs to the third world.

But the emergence of coronavirus appears to be making this detestation of Chinese more intense. Because the virus first raised its ugly head in the meat markets of Wuhan, a Chinese city. It is a well-known fact that the Chinese have cruel and dreadful food habits including the consumption of meat from wild animals. Moreover, there are also accusations that the Chinese communist regime kept the virus outbreak a secret and tried to hush up the enormity of the crisis, which caught the world community off guard and therefore ill-prepared to face the crisis.

The Chinese also spread it into many European countries especially Italy. Chinese bought many garments and leather goods manufacturing companies in Italy and many Chinese are working in Italian cities. If news reports are to be believed, there are many direct flights between Wuhan and some Italian cities, which enabled the virus to spread like a wildfire. And, most of the coronavirus spread happened through foreign travelers.

Globalization, which became popular by late-nineteenth-century, continues to be in vogue even now. But after wreaking havoc on many national economies, it slowly started turning unpopular. With an increasing number of right-wing nationalist politicians such as Donald Trump, Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson reaching the helm, globalization appears to be facing stiff headwinds.

The Left-leaning political parties all over the world are fast losing ground and becoming progressively irrelevant. Moreover, the Left’s continuous support of Islamism is also making it very unpopular. All these developments indicate that there is popular discontent with globalization, and people once again want their nationalist governments to take control of the matters to protect their interests.

The Islamist invasion of Europe in the garb of asylum seekers has also accentuated the fears in the west towards globalization. There is a wide-spread awareness among the westerns about the pernicious nature of political Islam and its dangerous intentions. As a result, some countries are busy erecting walls to stop the invasion. It is clearly perceptible that the people advocating open borders are fighting a losing battle and the people who are pressing for closed borders are gaining an upper hand.

The tweet posted by Trump should be seen against this backdrop and he clearly appears to be trying to cash in on the popular discontent among Americans with Chinese economic expansionism, which took away their jobs. In essence, the emergence of the coronavirus has definitely strengthened the hands of anti-globalization forces, and from here onwards it will require a herculean effort to defend globalization and open borders policy.