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How will coronavirus change the world? Show more Show less
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COVID-19 has torn through the fabric of our lives all over the world - with over 20M cases and nearly 1M deaths, and a global collapse in GDP that is historically unprecedented. Will it have long term impact, and what will that look like - economically, politically, and socially?

Coronavirus will impact global politics Show more Show less

As coronavirus spreads, political institutions and actors will inevitably react.
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Coronavirus will start a revolution in China

China's authoritarian regime is facing intense public pressure over their handling of the coronavirus crisis. China lied about the danger and spread of the disease, and silence Li Wenliang, the doctor who tried to warn the world (and died of COVID-19). The weakness of state authoritarianism has been laid bare.
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The Argument

The Chinese government's handling of coronavirus is increasingly being seen as incompetent and is failing to protect the Chinese people. The controversy primarily stems from reports that the first doctors to identify coronavirus were silenced, with the first doctor to identify it later dying of the disease.[1] Additionally, the government's restrictions on freedom of speech mean that citizens are getting more and more frustrated with their government for purposely withholding information from them. The event has been called "China's Chernobyl" in reference to the lack of transparency from the government.[2] It is inevitable that this will come to a head, especially considering the other political controversies the Chinese government was having even before the discovery of coronavirus. Protests in Hong Kong, a China-US trade war and controversy over the treatment of Muslims in the province of Xinjiang were all haunting the government even before coronavirus. Public opinion of the Chinese government is now fiercely negative in a way not seen since 1989.[2] It is becoming increasingly inevitable that the public is not going to stand for the Chinese government's censorship, and coronavirus may be the straw that breaks the camels back.

Counter arguments

The Chinese government's handling of coronavirus has not been incompetent. To the contrary, the country took aggressive measures to control the disease, such as city-wide lockdowns, widespread screening, and the collection of huge amounts of data. This was effective, to the point that a visiting scientist stated that “China’s bold approach to contain the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic”.[3]

Premises

[P1] Public opinion of the Chinese government has plummeted since the virus began spreading. [P2] There will come a point where the public are disillusioned enough that revolution becomes the only option.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] The Chinese governments reaction is not bad enough to warrant this sort of reaction.

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/feb/07/coronavirus-chinese-rage-death-whistleblower-doctor-li-wenliang
  2. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3050331/beijing-battles-crisis-chernobyl-proportions-coronavirus
  3. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/china-s-aggressive-measures-have-slowed-coronavirus-they-may-not-work-other-countries
This page was last edited on Saturday, 5 Sep 2020 at 11:14 UTC

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