The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based news outlet, has a five-part series in progress regarding outcomes potentially stemming from the current situation. My comments here concern remarks from the SCMP‘s third part.
Consensus is growing in Beijing that the coronavirus pandemic is set to make the world more hostile towards China, undermining the accommodating international environment that underpinned the country’s spectacular rise from a closed communist backwater into a global economic powerhouse.
With considerable justification, given the PRC’s steady drumbeat of coverup, lies, and subsequent shipment of dangerously shoddy masks and Wuhan Virus testing kits.
Aside from that, the PRC’s “spectacular rise” more accurately has been from a closed communist backwater into a closed communist global economic powerhouse.
There’s this, too:
Beijing’s pledge that China will remain investor-friendly and open its market further to foreign businesses.
This pledge is another broken commitment. The PRC has never been investor friendly.
The PRC government continues to require foreign businesses to take domestic companies as partners, for all that the domestics’ “participation” is no longer required to be a controlling interest. Such partnerships remain required, and the foreign company remains required to share critical technologies and intellectual properties with those partners. Given that PRC law requires all domestic businesses to cooperate with the government’s intelligence collecting agencies, that means those foreign companies still will be…sharing…their technologies and intellectual properties with the PRC government.
In the end, the necessary realignment of the world’s value chains needs to be an alteration of those chains to remove the PRC from any participation in any step that leaves other nations dependent on PRC production for their own national or economic (which is national) security. It may, or may not, be useful to include, to an extent, PRC production or communications facilities in those chains. However, with the lack of reliability and quality of output that the folks manning the nation’s government have chosen to ship in their response to the global crisis Beijing has unleashed, such an inclusion must necessarily be sufficiently constrained that a PRC disruption cannot threaten the security or weal of other nations.
Keep in mind, too, that PRC has long history of choosing to export dangerously bad products: powdered milk adulterated with melamine, baby food preparations with…impurities, poisoned pet food, sheets of plywood made with formaldehyde that outgasses into homes to poison the occupants.