With the world facing the crisis of COVID-19, which has infected more than 3 million people worldwide and with a fatality of over 2 lakhs, the future looks bleak for most of the people in the world. As the people are facing the reality of today, life has become slow, with economic activities coming to a grinding halt due to Lockdown measures implemented in most of the countries around the world.
Elsewhere, the situation is different, with China coming out of the grip of COVID-19 from where the virus originated (Wuhan), and the forceful start of its economic activities, the game of great power politics has started with full force.
Power Politics and projection of Power
While the liberal thinkers around the world are talking about greater global cooperation in the time of this grave situation, something else is brewing in the mind of policymakers of a country. Recently, Vietnam reported sinking of one of its fishermen boats after it collapsed from a Chinese vessel, here the world watched the great game of China. Also, the conduct of the naval exercise in the South China Sea and the breach of airspace of neighbouring countries is now normality for China’s neighbours, this all amid a time when the whole world including The US is fighting an invisible enemy.
When the countries across the globe are accusing China of its concealment of information from the world about COVID-19, China is working ferociously through its soft power approach showing its Medical diplomacy by sending medical supplies, PPEs, testing kits, and even medical professionals around the world to get rid of the narrative set by The US President Donald Trump.
Adding to this, the social media campaigns run by Chinese digital media outfits to start counter-narratives and fend itself off from any blame about its involvement shows the use of digital media platforms by China to project power.
As Mr Donald Trump gets vocal against China and WHO, for which Mr Trump gave an executive order to freeze funding to WHO, the world witnessed the tormenting of global cooperation by a country considered as Global Power. With the void in limelight and vacancy open for global power, China’s leadership or power politics comes into play, sending supplies, and working to cooperate with countries of the west as well as the east, and has shown the way to take full advantage of an opportunity.
This opportunistic move has exacerbated the alienation between The US and China in short and China and the world as a whole, and the moves of China are now being watched with suspicious eyes around the world. The statement of French President Emmanuel Macron that,” Something happened in China that we don’t know about”, and British foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggesting to ask “hard question” from China that “from where it came and why the virus could not have been stopped earlier”, are some cases in point.
Even the move of China to stop the UNSC meeting to discuss the COVID-19, as its foreign minister Wang Yi clearly stated that China will not let the topic of COVID-19 to be discussed in the UN meeting, has raised the question about the independence of global institutions like the UN.
But more worrying is the role of WHO, which suggested the graveness of the virus lately, and was mainly provided inputs about the situation by China itself without its independent role in handling the situation in crucial moments of the start of spread, which has raised questions on the efficacy and competence of WHO in handling once in a lifetime situations.
The current trends showcase the fault lines in global governance and the process of the rise of great power politics in current global discourse. The current trend has also exposed the game being played by CCP to get the gains in global-order with its ” iron fist in a velvet glove” approach and the weak position open of the US open to the world.
In this time of global crisis, we need to ask a real question, “In whose benefit is it, to take advantage of the current situation, when the whole humankind is at stake?”.
Today we are feeling the need for more independently working global institutions and in this regard, the nations like India are now the only ray of hope for the world in a situation where on one hand a game of power politics is going and on the other vulnerabilities are showcased in open, to uphold the principle of globalisation and show the strength to secure global cooperation and to help the humankind reel out of this unprecedented situation.