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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchThe Coming Post-COVID Anarchy

The Coming Post-COVID Anarchy

Author: Kevin Rudd 

Affiliation: Asia Society Policy Institute 

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs 

Date/Place: May 5, 2020/ USA 

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 2307


Keywords: Coronavirus, China, Anarchy, America, Global order


The author explains three factors that will shape the future of global order: changes in the military and economic strength of China and the US, how those changes are perceived around the world, and the strategies the great powers deploy. The author argues that based on all three factors, China and the United States have reason to worry about their global influence in the post-pandemic world. The author discusses further how China is working overtime to repair the damages of not only its economy but also damages to its global standing since the virus originated in China and Beijing failed to contain the epidemic in critical early months. This has resulted in anti-Chinese reactions in several countries that risk shredding its soft power. But, according to the author, the United States also does not fare any better from this crisis, losing credibility as the President acts as “a quack apothecary” recommending unproven “treatments.” His calls for “America First” have showed the world that it cannot lean on American help during global crises since it can’t even help itself. The crises also shredded the US-China relationship. The author discusses in this sense whether we can speak of a cold war, answering that “It may not yet be Cold War 2.0, but it is starting to look like Cold War 1.5.” The author closes by suggesting that a better alternative scenario exists. Political and policy changes in Washington, and on the other side a reformist and internationalist change in Beijing are needed. He warns that wrong decisions could make 2020 look like a mindless rerun of the 1930s.

By: Leyla Yildirim, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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