This year, it was the first time history of the People’s Republic of China that a gross domestic product (GDP) target will not be set. The PRC began setting targets in 1990 when it began to “open up” greater for globalized trade. 1990 was a rocky year worldwide as the Eastern European block began to fragment, globalization brought the first McDonald to Shenzhen and the US was diving into the Gulf War with the invasion of Panama in its back pocket; And Haiti saw a coup d’etat which ended in the election of Jean Bertrand Aristide.
Now that COVID has come, it is unclear what the post Covid world may look like. The pre-covid world looked pretty volatile already. Pre-Covid the US was trying to decouple from China, Latin American nations like Venezuela, and Bolivia sought to wrest power from organized crime and external influences and the Middle East was moving toward autonomous governance and development. But as nations have began to turn inward to save their populations, it a greater dissonance with world systems that do not serve ultimate ends and local populations are being dispensed with or reexamined. Post Covid, it seems nations are moving toward their own growth models more rooted in the success of their populations rather than submitting to the current world system.
It was just 20 years ago in 2001, China was granted Most Favored Nation status. But by 2019, the US and the PRC had begun a bitter tech and trade war that now looks much more like decoupling then minor dissent. Pundits suggests the US has set its sights on India as the next big trade destination. We are left wondering how that will end, as an April 2020 report from the United States Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended that the US State Department place India on its list of nations of particular concern for religious intolerance/abuse. India would join the likes of 13 other nations already on the list which include China, Eritrea, North Korea and Nigeria. Only in late May was the language regarding the report tempered.
an April 2020 report from the United States Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended that the US State Department place India on its list of nations of particular concern for religious intolerance/abuse.
Pre-Covid politics were undoubtedly turbulent, but post Covid does not look much better. While nations begin to rethink their allegiance to popular old world ideas like GDP targets, fiat currency and even dependence on the Swift Banking system, new contingencies have emerged. Oil wars still remain a percolating issue, and the uncertainty associated with the viability of unilateral organizations like the UN, World Health Organization and the IMF/World Bank.
In a time of unprecedented loss and tension, and as an oil war simmered; crude fell below zero in April. And just recently, Venezuela has sought to defy tariffs to begin importation Iranian oil. It does so with the comportment that old world rules are prohibiting the interaction of independent nations and how they choose to affiliate. In the Age of Covid, nations, states and municipalities are focused on doing what is fit for their populations over inclusion in an old, international boys club system that largely prevented them from actually being nationally and regionally effective.