Thursday, 28 May 2020

Coronavirus Epidemic: A Lesson for China? 

By Ravi Mishra
Updated: February 26, 2020 12:52 pm

No country creates so much resources that it could help sustain billions of people in such a crisis as coronavirus epidemic. Even if it creates, it will not be able to provide them to other countries because of the geographical barrier. Now, here it is important to mention the role of India in this regard. India and China has almost the same population. It is obvious that their plan for people’s welfare would at least be the same. So, the only country that can help China in this catastrophe is India, which also happens to be its neighbour.

 

The world’s second-largest economy China is suffering from the deadly coronavirus epidemic, which has infected thousands of people in China alone and is spreading rapidly  all over the world. It causes illness ranging from the common cold to  severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

A large section of doctors maintainthat the origin of this lethal virus is animals. On thes contrary, the Washington Times quoted an Israeli biological warfare analyst as saying that the deadly animal-borne coronavirus spreading globally may have originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan linked to China’s covert biological weapons programme.

Be that as it may, it has defiantly been a big setback for the Chinese economy. In the wake of this destructive disease, China’s GDP growth will fall from 6 per cent to 5 per cent in 2020. It will also slash the world economy by 0.5 per cent this year.

It is also evident that coronavirus has shut down the China, the world’s largest economy in the purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rate; the rate at which the currency of one country would have to be converted into that of another country by the same amount of goods and services in each country. Many countries are offering their support to China to overcome this disease. They are supplying medical assistance as much as they could do. Now the question arises: Who can really support China in a health crisis of this magnitude, a country with more than 1.4 billion people?

The truth is that no country creates so much resource that it could help billions of people in such a crisis. Even if it creates, it will not be able to provide them to others because of the geographical barrier. Now here it is important to mention the role of India in this regard. India and China has almost the same population. It is obvious that their plan for people’s welfare would at least be the same. So, the only country that can help China in this catastrophe is India, which also happens to be its neighbour. However, the relation between both the countries has seen bitterness mostly. And Chinese expansionist theory is responsible for this. India and China both fought a war in 1962 and in this war, China illegally occupied Aksai Chin, which is also called Chinese occupied Kashmir (CoK).

As the influence of the US is gradually declining, China is in haste to grab this position. However, it’s also not easy for China to establish its grip easily as most of the countries in the world are vying with one another. However, it cannot be gainsaid that China is striving hard to take control of the larger part of the world by means of its economy. Most of the African countries are now leaning towards China, though they are giving space to India too.

Now it is the time that China should realise the strength of India.  Wherever there is a humanitarian crisis, India puts its step forward and helps the suffering countries. In the wake of this deadly epidemic, in a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed solidarity with the people of China over the outbreak of the virus in the country and it was welcomed by China.  Here the recent statement delivered by Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong is worth mentioning who said, “At these difficult times, I am deeply touched by the kindness of the Indian friends. All these reminded me of the time when Dr Kotnis saved many lives and made great contribution to the Chinese people’s liberation cause.” Here it is vital to point out that Chinese Ambassador Sun was referring to Indian doctor Dwarkanath Kotnis, who died in the 1940s, while treating wounded Chinese soldiers during the country’s conflict with Japan.

Therefore, it is the need of the hour that for maintaining peace and bringing prosperity in the region and the world, both China and India should work together. In this regard, China, as a friendly gesture to India, will have to isolate Pakistan for its terror-related nefarious designs, which are not only harming India, but also destabilising the region. In coming times, Islamic radicalisation will be a huge issue in Southeast Asia and China cannot run away from this.  Therefore, going with Pakistan only to target India will never be fruitful for China. On the other hand, India has not taken any step to target China unless it is related to India’s sovereignty. India never believes in illegal expansionism theory. And the best example is Bangladesh– the territory that was once part of India–is now the world’s fastest-growing economy. And all the credit goes to India, which has stood by Bangladesh in every ups and downs. India is also assisting and bringing prosperity in war-torn Afghanistan. Therefore, India can never be a threat to China unless China interferes in India’s internal matters. Hence, China must learn a lesson from this catastrophe and extend an olive branch to India so as to combat unitedly any issue.

 

By Ravi Mishra

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