(Fighting New Crown Pneumonia) Economic War "Epilepsy" Record: Interview with Zheng Yongnian: The epidemic will redefine economic globalization

China News Agency, Beijing, March 30th: Interview with Zheng Yongnian: Epidemic will redefine economic globalization

China News Agency reporter Li Xiaoyu

The global epidemic is intensifying. According to data from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, there have been 720,000 confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia worldwide.

Zheng Yongnian, a professor at the Institute of East Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, said in an interview with a reporter from China News Agency that the outbreak will redefine economic globalization and change the world's development process.

The epidemic could have an even greater impact on the economy than the Great Depression

Affected by the epidemic, more and more countries began to “catch the city” or even “catch the country”, and a large number of economic activities stopped abruptly.

Zheng Yongnian believes that the impact of this epidemic will far exceed 2008. The epidemic caused not only economic crises, but also social crises, political governance crises, and international order crises. Multiple crises erupted in a single period of time. This "complication" is more dangerous than the 2008 "symptom".

In his view, the crisis caused by the epidemic is likely to be greater than the Great Depression of 1929 for three reasons: First, the current degree of globalization is much higher than that of the Great Depression. In this context, outbreaks in major economies will cause far more damage than in the past. Second, during the epidemic, nationalism defeated internationalism in some countries, national interests prevailed over global interests, and even "robberies while on fire" behaviors appeared, and the normal international order was impacted. Third, countries had clear response plans and tools during the Great Depression. However, there does not seem to be a good solution for the outbreak.

In order to hedge the economic impact of the epidemic, major economies have recently introduced stimulus policies. However, in Zheng Yongnian's view, the policy effect cannot be overly optimistic. He said the immediate cause of the current economic problems was the epidemic and the social panic it triggered. If the epidemic situation is not under control, the stimulus will be "itching across the boots" and will not really play a role. Therefore, we must concentrate our efforts on controlling the epidemic before talking about others.

Zheng Yongnian bluntly stated that even if the global epidemic was brought under control by the end of June, a "V-shaped" rebound would be unrealistic. The control of the epidemic does not mean that the social psychology can be restored immediately. It is also difficult to restart all the economic activities that were suddenly stopped because of the epidemic. This takes a long time.

Economic globalization may return to pre-80s

The epidemic has brought unprecedented risks of "broken links" to global supply chains and industrial chains, and it is of great concern where economic globalization will go.

Zheng Yongnian believes that the epidemic has made more and more countries realize that "things directly related to the safety of the lives of their people cannot be allowed to go away", and economic globalization will be redefined.

In his view, in the future, economic globalization may return to the state before the 1980s, that is, "limited globalization". Countries will hold their own production sectors that are very close to national security and people's livelihood, and return to The era of economic sovereignty.

He said that even though the division of labor in the supply chain of the global industrial chain has been formed, once it is linked to national security, it is “in fact possible” for companies that have already gone overseas to return to their home countries, because this is no longer a purely economic issue. It is integrated into the needs of the political and social stability of each country.

"From this perspective, the epidemic is a major event that changes the development process of the world." Zheng Yongnian said.

Will China's international influence increase?

As the spread of the local epidemic has been basically blocked, China has recently reached out to many countries to help prevent epidemics and provide support in terms of medical supplies and experience in diagnosis and treatment.

However, in Zheng Yongnian's opinion, whether China ’s international influence will increase due to the epidemic depends on whether it can find a suitable and widely accepted discourse expression system, so that the international community can view China's epidemic prevention of other countries from a positive perspective. Assistance.

He expected that US leadership would decline because it did not play its due role in the global crisis, "soft power" declined, and people felt that its sense of international responsibility had weakened. However, from historical experience, after each major crisis, the "hard power" of the United States, such as the economy and the military, usually increases.

He also reminded that although China has controlled the epidemic in a short period of time, and has actively provided assistance to the international community, it has also been affirmed and appreciated by other countries. However, in recent years, some people in the West have not shown that China is increasingly guarding and jealous Substantial changes have occurred. China should recognize this and be prepared to respond. (Finish)