Effect Of The Pandemic On The Balance Of Power Between Nations?

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

~ John Donne.

I personally believe that the Pandemic itself will not have any effect on the balance of power between nations but, the period during which the pandemic came into being and affected lives, saw many developments that certainly will.

Let me list the events that I think were/are important for the world’s future in terms of Balance Of Power, henceforth BOP, between nations.

The first and most important, in my view, development was the breakdown in relations between the USA and China. The impact of this breakdown will unfold over the next few years with devastating effect on both economies till offsetting alternatives are found by both. That this period also saw the very nasty last year of the POTUS 45’s term which has changed the USA for ever and its future as an economic power is likely to face very strong winds though militarily little is likely to change.

The next was BREXIT. I strongly believe that this is a major development which will affect the BOP within Europe and may even hasten other exits from the union. Britain is likely to come out of it relatively unscathed but, will have to redraw its relationships with the countries of the Commonwealth, which in turn will impact many of them particularly India. British nationals of South Asian origin will have to rethink their loyalties and this is likely to be a major game changer in the sub continent.

The next in line is the military confrontation between China and India during almost the whole year which has broken their relationship and its impact economically is likely to affect China more than India.

Breakdown of relationship between China and Australia is another factor that will have serious impact in the global economic order during the rest of this decade. This coinciding with the strengthening of the Quad alliance has sent strong signals to China which is likely to react in unpredictable ways.

The crackdown in Hong Kong by China has already started to see exodus of highly qualified professionals and companies from the island and this is likely to impact the Chinese economy in unpredictable ways.

The Islamic world has been rent with violence since before the pandemic and if anything it has only increased during the last year. Oil based economies of the ME states have suffered and it has affected countries like Pakistan and India which send labour there. Quite how the Middle East will come out of the present strong winds of electric vehicles will impact the Islamic world and Muslim populations of the whole world which will overshadow any impact that the pandemic might have had.

Lastly, the latest developments in Mayanmar and Nepal do not bode well for the region as a whole. Quite how that plays out is yet to be seen and how China will play its cards there will give some indications of the shift in the BOP in the region.

All in all, the decade offers interesting ring side seats for people like me with nothing better to do than to read a number of news papers every day and speculate. While it will be interesting, I do not foresee any major shifts in the BOP during the decade. If anything, some polarisation will take place but, it will have little effect on the BOP.

This is my contribution to this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, Padmum,¬† Raju, Shackman¬†, Srinivas and Conrad.¬† This week’s topic was suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

10 thoughts on “Effect Of The Pandemic On The Balance Of Power Between Nations?”

  1. Synchronicity. Over the years I have been astonished at the number of times we land on the same page of an issue, and considering our different cultural heritages this happenstance is even more astonishing.
    The biggest issues that will impact the balance of power in my mind are China/USA, China/India and China/Australia. I too see the damage POTUS 45 brought to the USA both internationally and within our own borders. He has stirred up 70+ million people and caused them to hate the other side – we are on the brink of another civil war with both sides peeking over-the-top of the hill daring the other to blink.

    If we can manage to maintain a degree of the respect which other nations held for us, then China/USA, USA/India and USA/Australia will keep the planet somewhat stable.
    Reliance on fossil fuels will be the key IMHO to all of the balancing as if we can get nations to break their reliance on fossil fuels nations will not be so eager to go to war.

    1. Indeed we are. Not only on this subject but, on many others as well. Hydro, Wind and Solar power to high performance storage batteries will bring in the change sooner than we expect. That will be another major turning point in humanity’s history just as mobile telephony has been.

  2. some wonderful and insightful thoughts about it all from you both.
    you each have invariably managed to simplify it for nonintellectuals like me. and I appreciate you!
    I had wondered about the Friday ‘consortium.’
    it seemed to have just gone away. I wanted to ask but never did.
    so glad you’re alive and well and back in fine form.

  3. As with Chuck, I find your analysis excellent. I think you are right in military terms, but power is, as you know, much more than military. In terms of moral standing and trust in competence, I think America has suffered mightily and will suffer more if Trump and/or followers regain control. With the military might, that is not good.

    1. I have deliberately underplayed that possibility which had indeed crossed my mind. I am prepared to give the Americans more credit for being sane in the future.

  4. The increasing polarisation in the US between progressives and Trump supporters is worrying. I hope it doesn’t become violent. There is also a bit of a cold war between the UK and the EU over the many problems Brexit has created – new customs charges and regulations, the requirement for product health certificates, the UK not giving any vaccines to the EU etc.

    As for the global balance of power, I can only agree with your own analysis. Hopefully Joe Biden will improve relations between the US and China.

    1. Americans themselves seem to be quite worried about this development. I am more optimistic that this polarisation will die down and the USA will revert to better days.

Comments are closed.