The COVID pandemic has proved detrimental to the health of the international system as the geopolitical tussle between the US and China shows no signs of abetting and even the EU, the only intact supranational entity, is fumbling in uniting its fellow members to frame a coherent action plan in curbing the pandemic. This article traces the power dynamics in which the US, China and the EU are tangled in containing the crisis.
Instead of indicating a shift in the fundamentals of the global order, COVID-19 has reinforced the pre-existing trends in international political apparatus namely, eroding credibility of the global governance systems, retreat from globalisation due to growing protectionism and the waning influence of regional institutions (in case of the European Union). But the most profound trend in the political realm is entrenchment of great power rivalry and strategic competition between the US and China. The pandemic has exacerbated the tensions between them which were already accentuated by the trade war, war of narratives, fuelled by diplomatic duels. Thus, any hope for the elimination of rivalries in the face of a global catastrophe was dashed to the ground and the international community has been deprived of a streamlined leadership in framing a coherent global response to the pandemic.
Mona Thakkar is Research Intern at CPPR. Views expressed are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of Centre for Public Policy Research.