Globalization Under Review as China Faces Effects of ‘Wars and Plagues’

CommentaryEconomies have undergone painful changes over the past several years due to international crises. First, there was the response to a virus originating from the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has led some to rethink globalization. Now the more recent consequences of the Russian-Ukraine war have further added to discussions on global trade, with one example being ideas put forward by German macroeconomist Gustav Horn. Currently in China, many are under strict lockdown measures that are also damaging the national economy, something revealed in the tourism figures for “golden week” which you can read further below. They offer a snapshot into the nation’s economic health, something that the propagandists from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would like to hide. Cargo containers stacked at Yantian port in Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong province on June 22, 2021. (STR/AFP via Getty Images) ‘Trade Policy Should Be Value-Based’ Horn published an opinion piece on April 26, in Zeit Online, titled “Germany Needs New Rules for Global Trade” where he argued that the Russia-Ukraine war has made it clear that “globalization as we know it is dead.” In the future, when doing business with “functional trading partners,” such as Russia and China, where “a common set of values ​​does not necessarily exist,” we must use “caution and foresight,” Horn said. There must be “no dependencies that cannot be corrected or are difficult to correct. It should therefore be insisted that each of these trading partners can be replaced by others at any time,” he said. Transnational trade should no longer be based “solely on the short-term profitability of the exchange. Rather, the state and social constitution of the trading partners should also play a decisive role. Trade policy should be value-based in the future,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to make trading safer and—based on the shared values—fairer.” Horn suggested that it’s necessary to divide future trading partners into three categories: Neighbors with similar values and geographical proximity are in the first category as preferred partners. Nations that are geographically distant but have similar values, constitute the second layer. Nations with whom one trades “solely because of their profitability,” are the least desirable trading partners and must be “treated with much greater caution in the future.” Horn ended the article by saying that the future global value-oriented trade should “be a trade that is no longer based solely on economic calculations, but one that should also meet criteria such as security of supply and protection against political blackmail. Above all, however, a value-oriented trade policy reconnects trade with peace.” Golden Week Loses Its Shine One of the biggest beneficiaries of globalization over the past several decades has been China and its communist regime. The country’s economy currently faces a number of challenges, among them a COVID rebound with local tourism being one example of a sector greatly affected by strict-anti COVID measures. April 30 to May 4 is China’s Labor Day holiday, known as “golden week” which is generally a very busy travel week. But with 100 million trips expected this year, it was down about 62 percent from the same period in 2021, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport said on April 28. The average daily expressway traffic was also expected to be about 49 percent lower year on year. “The current situation of epidemic prevention and control in various parts of China is complicated, and travelers’ willingness to travel is low due to the impact of the pandemic,” China’s Civil Aviation Administration said at a press conference on April 28. According to airline ticket bookings, the average daily number of airline passengers during holidays is about 400,000, down 77 percent year-on-year. A security guard wearing a face mask takes the temperature of visitors as they enter a public park in Beijing on April 30, 2022, the first day of the Labor Day holiday period in China. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo) International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings said in its China Corporate Overview Report on March 25 that the pace of recovery in China’s tourism industry has slowed since mid-2021 due to travel restrictions imposed across the country as a result of the COVID-19 rebound and will remain volatile in 2022. In the first half of 2021, China’s domestic tourist arrivals and tourism revenue only recovered to more than 60 percent of their 2019 levels, before falling to around 50 percent for the whole of 2021 and the recovery process will remain weak in 2022, the report said. Fitch Ratings believes that authorities’ pandemic prevention policies have largely determined the recovery path of the sector, and the spread of COVID-19 is likely to continue to constrain tourism activities, thereby slowing the pace of China’s economic recovery. ‘Wars and Plagues’ Spell Collapse State-run media Xinhua New

Globalization Under Review as China Faces Effects of ‘Wars and Plagues’

Commentary

Economies have undergone painful changes over the past several years due to international crises.

First, there was the response to a virus originating from the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has led some to rethink globalization.

Now the more recent consequences of the Russian-Ukraine war have further added to discussions on global trade, with one example being ideas put forward by German macroeconomist Gustav Horn.

Currently in China, many are under strict lockdown measures that are also damaging the national economy, something revealed in the tourism figures for “golden week” which you can read further below. They offer a snapshot into the nation’s economic health, something that the propagandists from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would like to hide.

Epoch Times Photo
Cargo containers stacked at Yantian port in Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong province on June 22, 2021. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

‘Trade Policy Should Be Value-Based’

Horn published an opinion piece on April 26, in Zeit Online, titled “Germany Needs New Rules for Global Trade” where he argued that the Russia-Ukraine war has made it clear that “globalization as we know it is dead.”

In the future, when doing business with “functional trading partners,” such as Russia and China, where “a common set of values ​​does not necessarily exist,” we must use “caution and foresight,” Horn said.

There must be “no dependencies that cannot be corrected or are difficult to correct. It should therefore be insisted that each of these trading partners can be replaced by others at any time,” he said.

Transnational trade should no longer be based “solely on the short-term profitability of the exchange. Rather, the state and social constitution of the trading partners should also play a decisive role. Trade policy should be value-based in the future,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to make trading safer and—based on the shared values—fairer.”

Horn suggested that it’s necessary to divide future trading partners into three categories:

  • Neighbors with similar values and geographical proximity are in the first category as preferred partners.
  • Nations that are geographically distant but have similar values, constitute the second layer.
  • Nations with whom one trades “solely because of their profitability,” are the least desirable trading partners and must be “treated with much greater caution in the future.”

Horn ended the article by saying that the future global value-oriented trade should “be a trade that is no longer based solely on economic calculations, but one that should also meet criteria such as security of supply and protection against political blackmail. Above all, however, a value-oriented trade policy reconnects trade with peace.”

Golden Week Loses Its Shine

One of the biggest beneficiaries of globalization over the past several decades has been China and its communist regime. The country’s economy currently faces a number of challenges, among them a COVID rebound with local tourism being one example of a sector greatly affected by strict-anti COVID measures.

April 30 to May 4 is China’s Labor Day holiday, known as “golden week” which is generally a very busy travel week. But with 100 million trips expected this year, it was down about 62 percent from the same period in 2021, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport said on April 28. The average daily expressway traffic was also expected to be about 49 percent lower year on year.

“The current situation of epidemic prevention and control in various parts of China is complicated, and travelers’ willingness to travel is low due to the impact of the pandemic,” China’s Civil Aviation Administration said at a press conference on April 28. According to airline ticket bookings, the average daily number of airline passengers during holidays is about 400,000, down 77 percent year-on-year.

Epoch Times Photo
A security guard wearing a face mask takes the temperature of visitors as they enter a public park in Beijing on April 30, 2022, the first day of the Labor Day holiday period in China. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo)

International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings said in its China Corporate Overview Report on March 25 that the pace of recovery in China’s tourism industry has slowed since mid-2021 due to travel restrictions imposed across the country as a result of the COVID-19 rebound and will remain volatile in 2022.

In the first half of 2021, China’s domestic tourist arrivals and tourism revenue only recovered to more than 60 percent of their 2019 levels, before falling to around 50 percent for the whole of 2021 and the recovery process will remain weak in 2022, the report said.

Fitch Ratings believes that authorities’ pandemic prevention policies have largely determined the recovery path of the sector, and the spread of COVID-19 is likely to continue to constrain tourism activities, thereby slowing the pace of China’s economic recovery.

‘Wars and Plagues’ Spell Collapse

State-run media Xinhua News Agency downplayed the graveness of China’s economic situation in an April 18 article titled, “10 Questions About China’s Current Economy,” saying, China has room to respond to the downturn because of its large economy and market size.

Shi Shan, a senior media and current affairs commentator in the United States, called this statement “the CCP’s self-hypnosis.”

Shi said when an economic downturn trend has formed, it is very difficult to reverse it through external forces. While China is big and won’t topple easily, once it falls, it will be very hard to get back up.

Epoch Times Photo
A Chinese paramilitary police officer gestures as he wears a protective mask while standing guard at the entrance to the Forbidden City as it re-opened to limited visitors for the May holiday, on May 1, 2020, in Beijing, China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Shi even predicts the possibility of the communist regime’s collapse. He said on his news channel that two simultaneous events are likely to trigger the CCP’s collapse—war and a plague.

“Historically, large structural collapses in human societies have usually been accompanied by these two things, and both are here now,” he said.

Although the Russia-Ukraine war is far away in Europe, Shi said, “In the era of globalization, no one can escape.”

In most cases, wars and plagues wreak havoc in societies primarily by destroying economies, Shi said.

“Wars and plagues don’t necessarily affect people directly, but through economic destruction. No one can escape.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Julia Ye is an Australian-based reporter who joined The Epoch Times in 2021. She mainly covers China-related issues and has been a reporter since 2003.