In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, nations across the world have raised apprehensions over China's self-contained and discreet governance that led to the spread of the deadly virus worldwide killing nearly 200,000 and infecting over 2.7 million (over 27 lakh) people across the globe. In what seems to be an eye-opener of the sort, the deadly virus has also shed light on China's predatory methods for global economic control in almost all the sectors ranging from high-tech and national security sectors of nanotechnology, telecommunications and artificial intelligence to basic mining and manufacturing.
To bring the attention on China's hostile methods to dominate the world economy, American senator from Utah, Mitt Romney in his Op-ed piece on Washington Post highlighted how a Chinese conglomerate's acquisition of a dominant Indonesian stainless steel company led to Indonesia stopping it nickel exports to any of China’s foreign competitors, in turn trying to force Chinese monopoly in Nickel exports as Indonesia is the largest producer of Nickel (an essential ingredient in stainless steel production) in the world.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Romney opines that America is awakening to China's stranglehold on pharmaceuticals which is just a tip of the iceberg of its grand strategy for economic, military and geopolitical domination. He states that a mere awakening will not be enough but a global unified strategy of free nations will be required to counter China’s trade predation.
"China has done what we have allowed it to do; to save a few dollars, we have looked the other way. COVID-19 has exposed China’s dishonesty for all to see. And it is a clarion call for America to seize the moment. When the immediate health crisis has passed, the United States should convene like-minded nations to develop a common strategy aimed at dissuading China from pursuing its predatory path," strongly opined.
China is second only to America in terms of military might, which is also on paper because no nation knows about China's actual spend on its military. Experts are of the opinion that China is just as good as America in terms of its military prowess. This is another factor for the rest of the nations to be cautious of. Although China has been strong-arming other nations while showcasing its military might, its weapon of choice today rather seems to be economic domination and industrial predation. "China not only steals technology from other nations, it massively subsidizes industries it determines to have strategic importance. Further, it employs competitive practices that have long been forbidden by developed nations, including bribery, monopoly, currency manipulation and predatory pricing," Romney said adding "When a predator, unbound by the rules followed by its competitors, is allowed to operate in a free market, that market is no longer truly free."
However, just as Romney deliberates, several nations have been rethinking their relations with China. Thousands of foreign companies are considering moving their manufacturing base from China to India. About 300 of these companies from sectors such as mobiles, electronics, medical devices, textiles and synthetic fabric, are actively pursuing plans of setting up manufacturing in India.
A majority of the nations such as the US, Japan, South Korea which rely on China for their cheaper source of products are now contemplating making the switch after China's debacle in managing the deadly virus outbreak. Countries are insisting on their corporations to either relocate production units or set up alternate units outside China. Japan has announced USD 2 billion financial assistance for its companies to shift production out of China and other countries are speculated to follow suit. Meanwhile, the US has continued its onslaught on China with US President Donald Trump stating that the virus could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn't, and the whole world is suffering because of it.