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The Pandemic Won’t Make China the World’s Leader

Authors: Michael Green and Evan S. Medeiros

Affiliation:  Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service 

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: April 15, 2020/ U.S.A. 

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 2013


Keywords: China, U.S. Foreign Policy, Coronavirus.



According to the authors, the novel Coronavirus outbreak in China could be seen as the “Chernobyl moment” of the country and “the beginning of the end” for the Communist party. The virus outbreak was expected to be to the advantage of Washington but predictions quickly changed when the virus went global and China decreased the spread of the virus whilst the States and Europe were suffering to contain the pandemic. As was expected, Beijing saw the resulting recession as an opportunity for the potential reordering of the geopolitical order, stressing the failure of democratic governance and offering itself as the leader of the pandemic response in which China will be the victor. The authors argue that the world reacted skeptically to China. They believe that China stopped reporting test results to keep its official infection count low. This could be true since it is not the first time that Beijing has suppressed information and offered false data. Although the authors underline that some countries embrace China’s approach, Europe has criticized China’s efforts to turn this pandemic to its advantage. The authors argue that China has to be aware of the dependency of its economy on Europe and the US, which means it has to swim or sink together. The authors close the article by proposing the US to more strategically lead these tensions between both countries and build up a more effective leadership by utilizing Beijing instead of alienating and isolating it. The authors add that alienation will result in losing respect among its allies and friends.


By: Leyla Yildirim, CIGA Senior Research Associate 



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