CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

“Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex” - Karl Marx

OPINION


Economy VS. People: Differences Between US and China's Response to Covid-19


In Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s newbook, Rage, he reports on interviews he did in February and March with US President Donald Trump about the coronavirus. Trump admitted that the virus was virulent, but he decided to underplay its danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” Trump said, “because I don’t want to create a panic.” Despite months of warnings from the Chinese authorities, Trump and his health secretary Alex Azar completely failed to prepare for the global pandemic.  

MEASURING THE ECONOMY

The United States continues to have the largest total number of cases of COVID-19. The government continues to flounder as the number of cases escalates. Not one state in the country seems immune to the spread of the disease.  

Meanwhile, in China, ever since the virus was crushed in Wuhan, the government merely has had to contain small-scale localized outbreaks; in the last month, China has had zero domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases. Martin Wolf wrote in the Financial Times on March 31 that China was successful in “bringing the disease under control in Hubei and halting its spread across China.” There was never a pan-China outbreak. It is more accurate to call it a Hubei outbreak.  

MEASURING PEOPLE’S LIVES  

While Trump lied to his own citizens about the disease, China’s president Xi Jinping said that his government would be “putting people first.” China hastily subordinated its economic priorities to the task of saving lives.  

As a consequence of a science-based approach, China’s government broke the chain of infection very quickly. By early September, this country of 1.4 billion had 85,194 COVID-19 cases and 4,634 deaths (India, with a comparable population, had 4.8 million cases and 80,026 deaths; India is losing more lives each week than the total deaths in China).  

The United States, meanwhile, has suffered from 198,680 deaths and 6.7 million cases. In absolute numbers, the US deaths are about 43 times China’s and the case number is about 79 times higher.  

The US government, unlike the government in China, hesitated to properly craft a lockdown and test the population. That is why, in per capita terms, US deaths are about 186 times higher than those in China and the cases are about 343 times higher.  

Trump’s racist attempt to pin the blame on China is pure diversion. China contained the virus. The US has totally failed to do so. The enormous number of US deaths were ‘Made in Washington,’ not ‘Made in China.’  

MEASURING THE ECONOMY  

In the first quarter of 2020, the Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 6.8 percent compared to a year earlier. Due to the fast elimination of domestic transmission of the virus, economic recovery in China has been rapid. By the second quarter, China’s GDP has been up 3.2 percent compared to the same period in 2019. The International Monetary Fund projects that China will be the only major economy to experience positive growth.  

How did China’s economy rebound so fast? The answer is clear: the socialist character of the economy. By July, China’s state investment was 3.8 percent above its level of a year ago, while private investment is still 5.7 percent below 2019. China has used its powerful state sector to boost itself out of recession. This illustrates the macro-efficiency of the state sector.  

In mid-August, the Communist Party of China’s theoretical journal Qiushi (Seeking Truth) published a speech by Xi Jinping, in which he said, “The foundation of China’s political economy can only be a Marxist political economy, and not be based on other economic theories.” The main principles of this are “people-centered development thinking.” This was the foundation of the government’s response to the pandemic and the economy in its context.  

Trump, meanwhile, made it very clear that his administration would not conduct anything near a national lockdown; it seems his priority was to protect the economy over American lives. As early as March, when there was no sign that the pandemic could be controlled in the United States, Trump announced, “America will again and soon be open for business—very soon.”  

DISASTER IN THE UNITED STATES  

Inefficient policies in the United States resulted in runaway COVID-19 infection rates. The basic protocols—masks, hand sanitizer—were not taken seriously. And the impact on the US economy has been catastrophic.  

The US made it clear that it was not going to pursue anything near a people-centered approach. Trump’s entire emphasis was to keep the economy open, largely because he remains of the view that his election victory will come via the pocketbook; the human cost of this policy is ignored. The US only had half a lockdown, and little testing and contact tracing.  

The GDP of the United States in the second quarter fell by 9.5 percent as compared to a year earlier. There is no indication of strong improvement. The IMF estimates that US economic contraction will be about 6.6 percent for the year. The “risk ahead,” writes the IMF, “is that a large share of the US population will have to contend with an important deterioration of living standards and significant economic hardship for several years to come.” The disruption will have long-term implications. These problems are laid out clearly by the IMF: “preventing the accumulation of human capital, eroding labor force participation, or contributing to social unrest.” This is the exact opposite of the scenario unfolding in China.  

It is as if we live on two planets. On one planet, there is outrage about the hypocrisy in what Trump said to Woodward, and outrage about the collapse of both the health system and the economy—with a harsh road forward to rebuild either. On the other planet, the chain of infection has been broken, although the Chinese government remains vigilant and is willing to sacrifice short-term economic growth to save the lives of its citizenry.  

Trump’s attack on China, his threats to decouple the United States from China, his racist noises about the “Chinese virus”—all this is bluster designed as part of an information war to delegitimize China. Xi Jinping, meanwhile, has focused on “dual circulation,” which means domestic measures to raise living standards and eliminate poverty, and on the Belt and Road Initiative; both of these will lessen Chinese dependence on the United States.  

Two planets might begin to drift apart, one moving in the direction of the future, the other out of control.  

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, editor and journalist. He is a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He is the chief editor of LeftWord Books and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is a senior non-resident fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. He has written more than 20 books, including The Darker Nations and The Poorer Nations. His latest book is Washington Bullets, with an introduction by Evo Morales Ayma.  

John Ross is a senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. He was formerly director of economic policy for the mayor of London.  

This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.    

OPINION

  • River in a 'Court of Law' - Legal issues pertaining to its personality
  • Syria: A Testament To International Moral Bankruptcy
  • When the State Sought to Muzzle Privacy, U-Turn Now Only to Accommodate SC Verdict
  • The Bull in A China Shop Wrecks Indian Economy
  • When Buddha Looks The Other Way: The Plight Of The Rohingya
  • A Fatal Blow to The Judiciary
  • The Dramatic Rise in Wealth Inequality
  • Wild And Baseless Speculations of Crisis in the CPI(M)
  • Budget 2018: Fantabulous Schemes With Not A Paisa Earmarked
  • Kasganj: Sankalp Foundation and the Politics of Hate
  • PM Modi Sounds the Election Bugle: Congress and Hindutva the Agenda for 2019 Polls
  • The US Game Plan in Syria
  • Both Nehru and Patel Were the Need of the Hour in 1947-48
  • The Battle of the Two Begums of Bangladesh
  • Why Bangladesh Matters
  • Kejriwal's Apology is Not What the Media Claims
  • Arrest of a '5-minute Dalits' Proves Why SC/ST Act Dilution Will Grossly Impact Real Dalits
  • The Dalits and the Law
  • Winners May Be Losers In Karnataka's Catch 22 Endgame
  • Jinnah and the BJP
  • Jawaharlal Nehru (Nov 14 1889- May 27, 1964): We Still Live In A House That Nehru Built
  • Implications of Trump-Kim Summit: Nuclear Pays!
  • Thomas Reuters Foundation Survey: Measuring Safety, Generating Outrage
  • ROADMAP TO A CEASEFIRE: AFGN - PAK
  • What Are People Voting for?
  • Foreign Policy: A Double Whammy Awaits India
  • Changing Discourse
  • Assam: The Mythology of "Immigrants"
  • Imran Time is Here
  • 71 Years on, Forsty Relations Countinue
  • To Stop Climate Change, We Need to Open Bordera
  • Make Use of Bid to Postpone Provincial Elections
  • Cringing and Fuddled at 71
  • Ensuring Strident Voice Will Not Become Majority Voice
  • Nehru, Vajpayee and Modi
  • Religious Bias Okayed
  • The Oslo Accords: A Bloody Legacy of Betrayal
  • Crushing the Campus
  • Three Stories And Task of The Office Of Missing Person
  • Drama Over Indo-Pak Meeting
  • An ill Wind
  • Symbolic Actions Alone Are Insufficient For Long Term Change To Occur
  • If Democracy Subverts Itself
  • Returning Land to Civilians is a Promise That Needs Follow Up
  • Democracy In Crisis: What we Know and What we Don't
  • Reparations Office Can Bind The Nations Together
  • Implementation Challenges Facing The Ayushman Bharat Program
  • Subverting the Central Bank
  • Under the Yoke of New-Imperialism: A Fake War of Patriotism and Treason
  • India Joins the Club
  • The Third Phase
  • President is Best Situated to Resolve Political Crisis
  • No Country for Adventure: Challenges Extreme Sports Athletes Face in India
  • Setting A Perilous Political Precedent
  • What Rahul and Modi can do in the Next Four Months
  • Finding a Win-Win Solution to Break the Deadlock
  • Temple in the Age of Colliders
  • Four Parameters of a Political Solution at This Time
  • Resolve National Question With President's Support
  • Decapitating the Leadership
  • Four Takeaways From the 2018 Election
  • Science of Words
  • The Ace up Modi's Sleeve
  • The Government Must Not Deny The TNA
  • The Prolonged Wait For Justice And For Political Leadership
  • Endgame in Afghanistan
  • Pluralist Ethos is More Relevant to National Identity
  • A Concerned Citizen's Points For Inclusion in The Manifesto of Political Parties
  • In My Own Voice: Circle of Unreason
  • RBI To The Rescue of Modi Government - It's Election Time!
  • Say No to War
  • A terrifying Fallout
  • The Type of Leadership The Country Needs
  • Death Wish as Nationalism
  • Politics on Kashmir Need Not be About Optics Alone
  • Why an Urban Job Guarantee Scheme is Not a Bad Idea
  • National Security: The New in 'New Normal'
  • Re-Promulgating an Ordinance is a Fraud on the Constitution
  • Elections 2019: India at a Crossroads
  • Peace and Inclusive Development
  • NYAY Providing Basic Income Fulfills the Vision of Mahatma Gandhi and Changed Election Narrative Based on Basic Issues
  • Advani Should Blame Himself For Promoting Modi
  • Kashmir: Tracing the Degeneration of Mainstream Politics
  • Elections and the Issue of Civil Liberties
  • Jumlanomics:Chronicles of a Post-Truth Bharat
  • BJP: Hiding Failures, Targeting Nehru
  • A Mayawati Moment
  • Godse is a Synonym of Hindu Nationalism, Agenda of the RSS Combine!
  • Development Beyond Numbers
  • A Rational Approach to Countering Extremist Violence is Needed
  • In My Own Voice: Is This the Sprit of Democracy?
  • Prevention is The Best Migration Cure
  • The Rise of Hate
  • The Right Mantras for India's Change
  • Coming Home - Where Family Overpowers All
  • Easter Sunday Bombing Used to Create a Major Rift in Sri Lankan Society
  • Hacking Humanity
  • Environmental Rule of Law in India
  • Peace is a Word That West Has Taken From Afghans
  • Trump's War Games
  • Modi & States
  • Who is an 'Outsider' in West Bengal?
  • China on Maps
  • 19th Amendment Will Correct Itself at End of President's Current Term
  • Authoritarianism and the Crisis of Public Ethics in India
  • Presidential Candidate The People Want
  • Has India's Kashmir Cape Given Pakistan Reason for War?
  • Icons and Ideology of Religious Nationalism
  • Why NRC in Assam May Create Another Kashmir
  • Campaign to Abolish the Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka is a Red Herring
  • As US Tries to Isolate Iran, China Steps In
  • Of Hindi and Hierarchy
  • Why Sri Lankan Elections May Bring Far Reaching Change
  • What US Policy Tells Us About India's Growing 'Friendship' With It
  • Gandhian Philosophy is a Critique of Modernity and Power
  • Inner Party Democracy is Just as Important as Funding
  • India's Foreign Policy Has Dug Itself a Deep Hole
  • 'Broken Promises' and Politics of Hate': Is Political Autonomy The Way Forward For J&K?
  • The Ninth Betrayal: America Has Let Down Khurd, Yet Again
  • Who Benefits From The WhatsApp Hacking Case?: Pertinent Question Left Unanswered
  • State Elections Results Expose "Limits" of BJP's Nationalist Agenda
  • "Religious Belief" vs. "Rule of Law": Did SC's Ayodhya Verdict Legalise Building of a Theocratic State?
  • What Does Trump's "New Refugee Ban" Mean for America's Immigrants?
  • India Must Change Course as Rajapaksas Return on Sinhala Buddhist Wave
  • The Supreme Court's First Judgment Without an Author
  • Geopolitics in South Asia Renders Millions Stateless
  • "Shakespeare's Vision of the Improbale" Unfolds: Is Modi Today's Macbeth?
  • Sri Lanka Under Rajapaksa: Finding Areas of Mutual Agreement
  • "The Game of Religion is Played by Men": Women Speak From the Margins of Ayodhya Dispute
  • Telangana Ecounter- Failure of Local Police Poses Grave Danger to Democracy
  • The Changing Nature of War and Diplomacy
  • Sri Lanka: Government's Cooperation A "Temporary Phenomenon"?
  • The Role of Corruption in This Season of Revolts
  • New Citizenship Law to a "Brazenly Divisive Agenda"
  • Youth Agitation Against CAA Brings a Historic Generational Shift
  • "Digital Authoritarianism": With Internet Shutdowns Normalised, the Digital Space is Democracy's New Battleground
  • Sri Lanka: The Challenge of Development Amidst Devolution of Power
  • The Political Divides that Split India
  • 'Never Again': Echoes of Nazi Crimes Remain Alive 75 Years After Auschwitz
  • "Legacy of Mutual Suspicion" Plagues Opponents of the Modi Regime
  • "Toxic" India Sliding into an Environmental Abyss
  • Manufacturing Hate: From Anurag Thakur's 'Shoot the Traitors' to Pistol-Bearing Youth's 'Yeh lo Azaadi!'
  • Kejriwal Isn't Communal, But His Desire Not to be Seen Anti-Hindu May Prove Self-Defeating
  • Religion States Won't Oppose US-Taliban Deal
  • Lessons From Pathogens: Coronavirus, A wake Up Call?
  • The Geopolitics of the Covid 19 Pandemic
  • Cold War Begins As Nations Fued Over Coronavirus
  • India Fights Coronavirus...With Scriptures, Morals and Police
  • The Burden of COVID 19
  • Do Israeli Settelemnts in Occupies West Bank Constitute a War Crime ?
  • The Global Debate on COVID-19 Lockdown: Listen to Divergent Scientific Voices or Risk Manipulation by Big Businesses?
  • Sri Lanka's Easter Bombings And The Demand For Justice
  • How India Can Solve the "Catch-22 Situation" of Allowing Migrant Workers to Return Home
  • The Time for Universal Basic Income Has Arrived
  • COVID-19 Crisis Exposes Fatal Weaknesses of 'Strong' Leaders
  • The Pandemic Has Taught Us the Importance of Maintaining an Ecological Balance, Will we Remember IT?
  • The Muslim Elite Has Let Down the Muslim Poor
  • "There is Nothing Nationalist or Non-Nationalist in Reporting"
  • Why WHO Took 3 Months to Declare a Global Pandemic
  • A Political Lockdown That Silences Voices
  • The 'Relief Package' of Online Education May End up "Institutionalising Drop Outs"
  • Can Democracy Survive the Coronavirus?
  • As China Ups the Ante, This is What India Must do...
  • Tackling Racism With Compassionate Reporting-CNN Leads The Way
  • Sri Lanka: Pluralism In Governance Required In The Absence of Parliament
  • Idia's Tactical Non-Solutions To China's Incursions in Ladakh
  • "At The Brink of A New Cold War": Sino-US Ties at a Crossroads
  • In Light of Rising Conservatism, Can The Personal be Political Again?
  • India-China: The Complete Breakdown of Trust, How and Why
  • Rethinking Development After Covid-19
  • The Pandemic Must Transform Our Agriculture
  • Treacherous Road to Make Manu History
  • The 'American Way of War' Is Built On A Foundation of Racism
  • Covid -19 And The Crisis of Education-An Insight
  • Governments That Preach Non-Violence Must Lead By Example
  • New Status of Hagia Sophia Signals The Death Of Secularism
  • Covid 19 and Furthering of Sectarian Agenda in Education
  • Biden's "Conventional" Approach vs Trump's "Whimsical" Handling of Foreign Policy
  • Why Arguments Against Reservation are Flawed
  • Curfew Welcomes One Year of Abrogations in Kashmir
  • Ayodha: What is BJP's Motive For Holding Ram Temple Ceremony Amid Pandemic?
  • New Education Policies of India And Pakistan Will Further Divide, Within and Without
  • Does India's Handling of China Make Sense?
  • Return of the Rajapaksas in Sri Lanka
  • An Independent Supreme Court Is a Must for Democracy
  • Does Rule of Law Trump Tide of Public Opinion?
  • UAE-Israel Deal Accelerating Fragmentation of West Asian Politics
  • Congress And Its "Unprecedented Political Challenge""
  • Does The 20th Amendment Threaten Pluralism in Sri Lanka?
  • Digital Hate, Now A Profitable Commodity
  • Rising Cases, Unemployment: Is India Ignoring Fears Stoked by the Pandemic?
  • Surging Pandemic, Slumping Economy - And the Crisis of Democracy
  • Anxious Leader, Passive Citizens and "Criminalised" Governance
  • Parliamentary Session Merely A "Notice Board" For Government Decisions?
  • The Collapse of Democratic Institutions Under Majoritarian Rule
  • Mughal MUseum Rekindles Question of India's "Slavery""
  • Babri Masjid Demolition Case: Court Ignored Findings of Liberhan Commission
  • As Politics of Hate Takes Over, The Biggest Casualty is Compassion
  • Hathras: The Last Opportunity to Reflect
  • India Joining Ranks of Illiberal Democracies
  • Rising Uncertainties May Lead to Election Chaos in The us
  • 'Secularism': A Dirty Word
  • Is Bihar Tired of Nitish Kumar Rule?
  • In Crisis: India Now A 'Pale Shadow of Former Self'
  • Economy VS. People: Differences Between US and China's Response to Covid-19
  • Trupm is Gone But Trumpian Populism Lives on
  • Bihar's Silent Voters: Explaining the BJP-JDU Alliance
  • How Many X-Factors Can an Election Take? Many, it Seems
  • Objectivity and Fascism
  • Is The Saudi Kingdom Moving Towards Recognising Israel?
  • Asaduddin Owaisi: An 'Exasperating Opponent' For Right,Left, And Centre
  • 'Do Not Trifle With the Peasantry'
  • Is Modi's Popularity on the Decline?
  • Farmer's Agitation: A Spoke in The Wheel For BJP's Hindutva Strategy?
  • Maleeha Lodhi
  • A DYSFUNCTIONAL PARLIAMENT: POLITICAL COMPETITION LEADING TO THE DEMISE OF DISCUSSION AND DEBATE
  • Shaheen Bagh and the Farmers Protests, the Urban and the Rural
  • WILL US RUSSIA ESCALATE MILITARY TENSIONS?
  • A CASE OF ‘TOO MUCH’ OR TOO LITTLE DEMOCRACY?
  • MODI REGIME’S VISION FOR MEDIA INVOLVES TOTAL ALIGNMENT
  • FASCISM REARS ITS HEAD, A NEW THREAT FOR THE BIDEN PRESIDENCY
  • RIGHT TO PROTEST: PUBLIC MEETINGS A “TRADITION OF OUR NATIONAL LIFE”
  • Biden is Shifting Leftward?
  • The handmaiden of capitalism
  • ‘Lose a Battle to Win the War’- Kisan Leaders
  • People’s Power!
  • The Peasants Movement Constitutes a Major Crisis for Corporate Capital
  • Democracy Crumbles Under Central Push to Control NCT
  • Overzealous Crackdown in Jaffna Adds to Divide
  • Ambedkar and the Writing of History
  • ISRAEL'S METAMORPHOSIS FROM DAVID TO GOLIATH
  • UN PANEL PROPOSES ACTIONS TO PREVENT FUTURE PANDEMICS
  • ‘Outright Attack on the Land Rights of the People of Lakshadweep’
  • Biden Under Pressure to Harness Israel
  • THE POLITICAL JOURNEY OF MAMATA BANERJEE
  • A Public Health Necessity Gives Birth to Billionaires
  • THE END OF NETANYAHU AND ABBAS
  • This is No Time For Competition
  • WE ARE CREATING IDEAL CONDITIONS FOR FURTHER VIRUS EVOLUTION
  • THE IRAN HARDLINER WHO COULD HELP BIDEN
  • TALIBAN IN COMMAND AS US DOWNSIZES IN AFGHANISTAN
  •