Daily Archives: April 5, 2020
Whilst China is doing all it can to divert from them the wrath of the Western powers, I doubt the strategy will work.
Claims for compensation will soon start to go around. But I doubt this will be decided in international courts of law in any meaningful way.
Rather, the economic pressures that all Western Countries will experience will create a correspondent pressure to make China pay for the mess they have caused. Whether this takes the form of tariffs, trade sanctions, expulsion from the WTO, refusal to honor debt (the US can inflict great damage on China with, so to speak, a couple of signatures, simply by nullifying the US debt they hold as damage compensation), repatriation of industries or a mixture of all this, there is no doubt that China will hurt; then everyone understands by now that a lying communist dictatorship is no trade partner worth having.
Actually, it would be a bold, but wise move if Trump were to declare, very publicly, that China is going to pay the cost of the measures taken by the US Congress out of the US debt they hold first. In one bold strike, he would reassure many worried US household about the real economic impact of the crisis; decrease or, in the extreme case, even nullify the flux of interest payments wandering to China every year, and show the world who is boss; which latter will not do much to promote the evil Chinese “Belt and Road” plans.
The Chinese can try to influence as many Western journalists as they wish. But as the economic pain becomes clear in the next months, they will find it very difficult to escape punishment, nor will they have a corrupt Mr Biden as their counterpart in Washington.
The next years are going to be difficult for China; and the very likely sudden halt of the economic progress they have been achieving, largely out of the West, will make it more difficult for them to hold on to power, as the rage for the countless, if never admitted, virus deaths adds to the rage for the economic woes that are pretty sure to come.
Bundle up, Mr Xi.
It is going to get very cold.
I have , on this little blog, never underestimated the unusual gravity of this virus. At the same time, I have always advocated a rational, sensible approach to the issue. If we can ask most people to go to work on factories as enemy bombers fly above their heads – obviously doing all we can to cure the wounded etc. – then we can ask most people to go to work during a time of infection in order not to destroy the Country from the inside.
Get this, folks: this virus will, most likely, not go away anytime soon. When the factories reopen, which at some point they will have to do, the virus will keep spreading. Therefore, the news of diminishing new infections are, in a way, fake news, in that they do not tell us anything about what is going to happen when normal life resumes, which it will have to happen.
I am very, very alarmed when I hear statements, from non-elected personalities, about how long the lockdown should or should not go on. This is not for you to decide, my friend.
In Italy, Angelo Borrelli (who is, to make it short, somewhat like the “Italian Mike Pence” on Coronavirus) took it on himself to say that he thought that Italians would have to remain under their brutal lockdown until the First of May at least. I don’t know what fell on his head afterwards (I think, a police baton straight from the Italian Prime Minister), but whatever it was, it worked, as the man one day later was claiming that he had been “misinterpreted”, and we are at 13 April as the official date for the end of the lockdown until further order. The guy just can’t make government policy, end of story.
The US are not much better. Dr Fauci has expressed the opinion that social distancing should remain in place until deaths have, more or less, ceased. This is like the above mentioned Mr Borrelli: but drunk, high, and on steroids.
These people all have safe jobs. Plus, they have a clear professional deformation: they focus on the situation they are called to help with – and are understandably afraid of being considered “complacent” – and they forget that there is an entire Country out there which is slowly going bust.
The likes of Borrelli, and Fauci, should be told very clearly that they are allowed to give us their opinion on administrative (Borrelli) or medical (Fauci) matters, not on policy ones. This is for the elected representatives of the people to do.
The “war” rhetoric is starting to get a bit stupid, too. This is getting a bit like a war that is ruining the entire Country for lack of willingness to fight it in the first place. It is, if you wish, the French approach to the Virus: let us surrender and hope that the enemy will have mercy on us.
It will never work: after you have inflicted untold pain to your economy, you will have to go back to work anyway some day, and the pain will start again.
The solution is not shutting down and hoping that the virus goes away. The solution is to keep producing and focus the effort on the treatment of the victims of the invisible bombardment.
The USA will get there earlier, because they have a businessman at the helm. The UK might also get away with a reasonable damage, because the Brits are very, very tough cookies. But Continental Europe might well hurt itself really bad, because giving power to technocrats and “experts” has become almost a second nature in vast part of the EU, and they will need a shock (= a seriously deteriorating economy) to get rid of it.
The only positive of this situation is this: every week of continued lockdown makes the death of the Euro, and of the so-called “European project”, more likely.
That, at least, would be a great progress.