Return of Global Competitions in the light of Coronavirus Pandemic

Strategic Council Online - A faculty member of the School of International Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the short, medium and long-term impacts of the Coronavirus on international politics, security, and the economy will be significant. He noted: Competition in the field of vaccines and their distribution process in manufacturing countries and their allies has been emerged, creating new economic geography that may be used in future.

Dr. Mehdi Fakheri, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, said that the Coronavirus outbreak has created two types of macro and micro effects in international relations, adding: In examining the macro dimension, it should be noted that the current that has already been started in the form of China regaining power and the extent of its influence on East Asia and global and international competition was strengthened by the control they had over the Coronavirus epidemic, as well as political, security and scientific-technological responses they gave to the issue.

He added: On the other hand, the one-sided populist faction that was gaining power in different parts of the world, from the United States to Latin America to Europe and even East Asia, was weakened, and with Trump losing the US elections, this political shift led to the strengthening of China and weakening of America. This is a very important political task that we can see its outcome in future.

Extensive effects of Coronavirus on Intl. politics, security and economy

The analyst of the international affairs cited the economic issue as the second point in Coronavirus macro effects, saying that the West, which had been able to gradually reorganize its economy and the international economy within about 12 years after the 2008 financial crisis, as a result of this issue, practically lost the positive trend of its economic growth. All countries, especially the developed Western countries, have been affected by consequences whose outcome will be witnessed in future.

Fakheri explained: Gross domestic Product (GDP) of all those countries which have somehow control over the international economy, experienced an average negative effect of 5% in growth; therefore, this issue will continue to show its effects on trade and economic development in the medium and long term.

He added: This issue will also affect the international obligations of countries; for example, we see this in connection with the issue of global warming and the decisions of the Paris Convention. In fact, it delays, if not destroys, virtually all the major trends that have taken shape in the world and are close to giving result.

Examining the micro-dimensions of the effects of the Coronavirus epidemic in international relations, the university professor said: Naturally, this technological-commercial-political competition that has taken place in the field of vaccine manufacture, sale and pre-sale, and its distribution process in manufacturing countries and their allies, is in itself creating a new economic geography which will be used later, especially with the warnings that are given in connection with the contagious diseases, suggesting that the short, medium, and long-term effects of the Coronavirus will have noticeable impacts on politics, security and international economy.

Widening the North-South gap

Regarding the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak on widening the North-South rift, Fakheri stressed: This will not necessarily happen directly or intentionally, but the long-term consequences of the Coronavirus outbreak will be to widen this rift.

The professor of international relations continued: We had two experiences in the late twentieth and in twenty-first centuries; one is the experience of AIDS and the other is the experience of SARS and now Coronavirus. Obviously, in the case of AIDS, as in the recent case of Coronavirus, multinational pharmaceutical companies, with regard to the technology at their disposal, began manufacturing vaccines and drugs, and were very strict about sales and marketing.

He added that countries such as Brazil, India, South Africa and, more recently, Iran, which were developing and at the same time becoming economically involved, argued that the commercial interests of multinational pharmaceutical companies could not endanger the public health of their communities. Therefore, they entered into a battle.

Fakheri said: The battle was even waged at the World Trade Organization, and for the patent right of the drug, a temporary exemption period was granted so that countries could produce the drugs through generic designs, which they did; that is to say, Brazil, China, India, and similar countries produced lower-cost drugs that were able to largely prevent the disease from exploding.

Determining role of capable developing countries

The faculty member of the School of International Relations saying that this also happened to SARS and Coronavirus, emphasized: Although in the initial wave and phase this gap is created and deepened, gradually the developing countries with the reaction they show will reduce this distance a little. They also increase their technical capabilities and share experiences so that the scenario that is designed in a way that is desired by the designers, may not move forward and a balance will be created.

He added: Experiences of the past 40 years in connection with those two diseases, as well as in other cases such as Ebola, bovine insanity, avian influenza and other infectious diseases, have practically put developing countries in a position to meet at least part of the needs of their communities, and that scenario of monopolizing the market and politicizing it, would not proceed forward as planned, and perhaps time will come to the help of the developing countries.

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