Is China technology outperforming the US

"This audacity is hard to beat" : China wants to become even more powerful after the corona virus

According to information from the Chinese state newspaper “China Daily”, a cargo of hope arrived in the Dutch port of Rotterdam on Tuesday. This hope rests on granules made from honeysuckle flower and the medicinal plant Chinese tragacanth, which, taken with hot water, is said to be able to temporarily stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has proven to be helpful in Wuhan, the initial epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, and is now also enjoying great popularity in Europe - at least "China Dialy" claims.

The narrative “China has defeated the virus and is now helping the rest of the world” is currently running through all channels of the Chinese state media. While the effect of TCM in the fight against the coronavirus is likely to be controversial, the exchange of experience between doctors and scientists with their colleagues from China and, above all, the delivery of material is undoubtedly of great importance for the fight against the pandemic in Europe.

"We are very grateful to China for this support, if we all work together, we will win the fight against the coronavirus," said EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen after her conversation with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. He had assured her that he would deliver 200,000 N95 protective masks, two million surgical masks and 50,000 diagnostic sets. Leyen recalled that in January the EU helped China with protective materials during the virus outbreak in Wuhan. “China hasn't forgotten that,” she said.

But the aid to Europe is more than a material acknowledgment. It also serves to strengthen Chinese soft power and secure Beijing's influence in Europe. China's actions today can shape tomorrow's world order. The new world power wants to emerge stronger from the crisis and continue to overtake the USA as the leading global power - even though the virus crisis began in China and was not fought there in time due to the weeks-long cover-up by the Chinese authorities. With the now known consequences for the world's population. "This audacity of the Chinese actions is hard to beat," writes the US magazine "Foreign Affairs".

China, however, benefits from the fact that the country is at the source due to the relocation of the production of many goods and pharmaceutical products to the People's Republic. Above all, however, the People's Republic is pushing into an aid vacuum that the USA and also the European Union (EU) have created. For a long time there has been a lack of solidarity support within the EU.

The US is embroiled in a power struggle with China

Only on Wednesday, seven tons of relief supplies were flown from Germany to Italy, including ventilators. In the opinion of the MEP and doctor Peter Liese (CDU), much more should be done. "By making medical equipment available and, wherever possible, treating patients from neighboring countries that are particularly affected," said Liese in an interview with Tagesspiegel. "This currently applies to Italy, but it may very soon also apply to France in the border region between Germany and France."

Background about the coronavirus:

The help must follow clear rules. “For example, that the loaned equipment is immediately available again when we reach the peak of the epidemic,” he says. The MP urges better coordination of efforts. "We urgently need to work more closely together on corona therapy," says the doctor. Everywhere in Europe people are trying wildly to find out which drug could possibly help - that absolutely has to be coordinated. ”The resumption of border controls in Europe, on the other hand, reinforces the impression that each country is currently fighting for itself.

The USA is currently largely failing as an auxiliary power in the corona crisis, not only because of the isolationist policy of US President Donald Trump. In addition to the trade war, they are embroiled in a media power struggle with China. Trump, for example, insists on calling the coronavirus "Chinese virus," although the phrase is likely to encourage racism against Asian-looking people in the United States.

Trump is also reacting to the unproven claim by the Chinese Foreign Office spokesman Zhao Lijian that the virus could have come from the United States. Beijing, in turn, recently expelled at least 13 correspondents for the US newspapers “New York Times”, “Wall Street Journal” and “Washington Post” from the country. "China Daily" reported in a tweet that a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Office had emphasized that China had received no financial aid from the USA in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

In terms of power politics, these actions have an important dimension: Accepting help is an expression of weakness, while giving help is an expression of strength. And China is helping now.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page