How Severely Has COVID-19 Tarnished China’s Global Image

What Happened: According to a new Pew Research Center survey, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increasingly tarnished China’s image. And in the West, the adverse views of China are soaring to an unprecedented level. For example, in Australia 81 percent of respondents said they see China “unfavorably,” up 24 percent since 2019. And in the UK, around three-quarters of interviewees had hostile opinions about China. The survey also found that Americans have changed their views on China since President Trump took office, with the Trump Effect escalating a rise in negative perceptions and hostility toward the world’s second-largest economy. “US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certainly isn’t helping China’s reputation,” says CNN. By meeting with foreign dignitaries and encouraging them to oppose China’s “exploitation, corruption, and coercion,” the US is setting the tone.

Jing Take: Leaving America’s open hostility and belligerence in foreign policy aside, the US looks more and more fearful of a rising China, which would create a new bipolar system. In the past decades, Beijing has carved out a path to global domination by reducing America’s sphere of influence. Emerging markets in Africa, Latin America, and Asia have moved closer to Beijing because the later became a persistent economic and security partner. Through scientific exchanges, strategic investments in infrastructure projects, and emerging technologies, as well as a comprehensive economic development strategy, China has energized the economies of many developing nations.

And while the West sees these partnerships “as examples of China’s manipulation and debt-trap diplomacy,” developing nations that have been forgotten by Western powers are rejoicing because they finally found a reliable partner. “China has now become as important to the emerging markets as the US is to developed markets, if not even more,” says ETF Trends. “China has come to represent nearly 50 percent of the S&P Emerging BMI by weight.” How this new bipolar system will work between China, US, and the rest of the world depends on many factors, of which COVID-19 is only one of many factors — but right now, the most important one.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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