The COVID-19 pandemic is the second major crisis of globalization in a decade. The first was the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, from which the global economy took years to reach a semblance of recovery. We did not learn our lessons from the first, and this is perhaps why the impact of the second has been even more massive.
China’s economy is often presented as a powerful engine. This is, however, only one face of it. It has also been marked by vulnerabilities, and these have become more obvious over time, as the costs of high-speed growth have rebounded on the country, giving rise to social tensions that are straining the capacity of the reigning Communist Party to contain them.