A piece of advice.
Do not hug a Chinese.
Maintain twice the recommended social distance.
That, in my vocabulary is the Viral Distance!

It takes an idea to spark a revolution. The Chinese virus is more than an idea. In Oct 2018, in an article titled China an Overstretched Hegemon I had discussed the issue of Collapse of China. Very recently in my article China’s Corona Wash, I had again brought forth this issue. In the overall scheme of things, the Chinese Virus was portending ominous things for its motherland. My analysis indicated that Collapse of China was one of the likely outcomes. 

The Chinese Virus has spread to the rest of the world. It has crippled thriving economies and destroyed the subsistence economies of vastly underprivileged people. More importantly, it caused death and devastation of innocent people and their livelihood across all barriers. Slowly but steadily the finger of blame for this pandemic has swung unerringly towards China. Despite best Chinese PR attempts no one believes that China sacrificed itself or handled the situation better or provided global leadership or came to anyone’s aid. On the other hand the converging perception is that China bungled, delayed informing the rest about the pandemic in connivance with WHO and is involved in usurious ‘mask diplomacy’ tantamount to criminal negligence. The evolving consensus, and that is firmer by the passing day, is that there is a decoupling required from China. This had started even before the viral outbreak. It is now starting to gather steam with Japan and USA taking the lead. We will leave this here and come back to it later.

Very recently, China upwardly revised its death figures in Wuhan by 1290 (ie 40%). Why? I do not know. Probably to assuage the international community that it is coming clean. Probably to signal to its own population that it is transparent, and the world is griping foolishly about Chinese opacity. To me it signals something else. Firstly it is proof of Chinese under-reporting. If these are the figures for Wuhan, what are the figures for the rest of China? Coming later? Even with this upward revision, China has had only 3 deaths per million against South Koreas 5 per million. Surely China has not managed its situation better than South Korea? Hence the real figures are still hidden. It reinforces lack of trust in China. Secondly, by under-reporting, China has deprived all of us of some valuable research data which would have given better clues as to how to deal with the pandemic and saved lives. Under the circumstances it is criminal. The crucial issue is however something else.

The main context is that it has unmasked the real motive. Let me amplify. In my earlier article Coronation of the King, I had outlined four scenarios. These were Bumbling Ignorance, Loss of Control and Evading Reality, Exploiting the Situation and Biological Warfare. My take on ‘Exploiting the Situation’ was that the situation in Wuhan could have developed accidentally due to any scenario. However since it happened, why not deliberately export it to others?  ‘Exploiting the Situation’ theory fits in well with the reality that internal movement was banned in China when external bans were being contested and resisted. Also, Beijing and other major cities being unscathed to the extent of Wuhan gives credibility to this line of thought. 

Let us further granulate the scenario of ‘Exploiting the Situation’. The outbreak occurs. Human to Human transmission is confirmed. The SARs experience of 2003 suggests that things are bad. Realization sets in that an unknown uncontrolled evil genie is out of the bottle. The Virus is going to cripple China. Knock it out of its path of superpower glory. This is wargamed quickly. A course of action is put into execution. First downplay it by continuing with the huge feast in Wuhan. Nothing is wrong. Festivities continue. Smokescreen up. The leader makes a statement to show resolute intent to curb the virus. He then dives out of the scene. The numbers are underreported. The Virus is allowed to seep out to other parts of the world through departing international travelers; secure in the knowledge that the problem will surface all over the world only after two weeks. Right then things seemed to be ok for an onlooker from outside. Hugs are sought in public from gullible Italians. So others are lulled to think it is a minor local event. Information is suppressed. Outside health officials are kept at bay. They cannot assess the real deal. The WHO is subverted and used to endorse the Chinese view. All those who enforce travel bans are castigated. Meanwhile internal travel bans are put in place. The Chinese fight a valiant battle to defeat the Virus in its land. The leader then comes out of hiding to take the bows. The result. What we are seeing now. Rest of the World – crippled. China back on its feet. Advantage China. Leader of the World. Once everyone is grappling with their deaths and pandemic problems, quietly release some more figures in the confusion. The context and result are clear. Deliberate action is evident for those who can analyze. The only hitch is that this plan while succeeding in ‘Exploiting the Situation’ has done damage beyond the imaginable. The world will get wise to it. A matter of time. It will be a nail in the Chinese coffin. This is straight out of a Tom Clancy novel. Except that it is a true Chinese Script being played out sans Jack Ryan to save the world. He (CIA) was sleeping on duty or AWOL. 
Now let us see the geo-economics. The Chinese economy is set to contract by 6.8% in the Quarter. Most of this is in the manufacturing sector, export driven and with minimal internal consumption. There are reports that many companies are already filing for bankruptcy and there are layoffs in China (real estate and startups are mostly hit). Internationally, there is clarity that a significant portion of manufacturing and supply chain capacities will have to be relocated to outside China. The minimum I foresee is 25%. That means 25% job losses too. That is huge. During this pandemic, many countries will be forced to become self-reliant on their capacities in many areas. It is a matter of survival. That business will never come back to China. There are reports that all BRI projects have ground to a halt. Many of these projects are in impoverished countries whose governments might not survive the Chinese Virus. As of now they are NPAs – Dead ends to Nowhere and will remain so. There will be renegotiation and downsizing of many of these. I do not see new projects commencing for at least a couple of years. The tail end will be closure of many more businesses in China. China has been a heavy investor in Africa. Many African nations are now upset with China for exhibiting ‘racism’. China will experience a back lash from some of these nations. China might have recovered. Others have not. Their economies are contracting too. Unless goods are essential, no country will have the appetite or the money to buy anything from China. That means the ‘Made in China’ plan to make export oriented hi tech items will get hit. There is also an emotional backlash from major sections of the international community. The viral images of Italians hugging Chinese and then dying by the droves due to the Chinese Virus will not go away. These are defining moments of this war. To me it as powerful as the photo of the Napalm Girl of the Vietnam War. It changed the course of that war. This might change the course of China. Some of us will carry it to our graves. While most of this is external to China let us see the internal dimension.

The Virus from Wuhan has not exited China. There are reports that it is surfacing in the outer rims of China. There are also reports of a second wave. So it is not as if China is home and dry in a post pandemic paradise where manufacturing is humming all over again. Then there is the issue of a debt bubble. China existed on a huge debt bubble. Which way will this bubble go? I do not know. It will not deflate or be filled up easily. A burst is on the cards. In any scenario, the outcomes for China will be nasty. Then there is the issue of military funding. Chinas huge investment in building the most powerful and modern military will hit a circuit breaker. Militaries cost money. Militaries under change and modernization cost even more. Unfortunately, if there are no wars or conflicts, huge expansion plans are dead end investments. All this will end in loss of jobs in China and “Food Off the Chinese Household Table”. I do not think that China has the fiscal space to print its way out of trouble. I also do not think that we will see visuals of Chinese lining up in cars maintaining prim social distances to collect their weekly social security cheques. If things go bad, there will unrest due to poverty and hunger. Then of course, there is this issue of suppression of people’s rights. Hong Kong has not vanished. If anything the pro-democracy move will only intensify.

In all this, just factor the Virus itself. It is noticeably clear that it will not vanish one fine morning. It is going to turn from a pandemic to an endemic. We will be sleeping with our enemy forever. Till a vaccine comes up the world will not move to a sense of normalcy. The new normal will be built on isolation or interest blocks based on openness and trust with a sense of shared values. Where does a China which has “Exploited the Situation” fit into this paradigm? You must be in Pakistan, Serbia or some such place to be considered a friend if you are a Chinese. Even there I doubt if people will respect a Chinese. Remember the Pakistani TV anchor saying China ne Chuna laga diya

So what do we see? A China which is guilty. A China with huge losses in businesses and jobs. A Chinese debt bubble deflating or bursting. A China which will be shunned emotionally and physically. A China which will continue to grapple with its homemade Virus in the most unadulterated form. A China with unrest amongst its 1.6 Billion people. The Chinese Summer of Discontent is here. There is a pressure cooker situation in China. There was a similar situation in USSR after 1986 when Chernobyl happened, Gorbachev acknowledged that USSR ultimately collapsed in 1991 due to that disaster. It took five years in a situation where Chernobyl was a pure accident. This is a situation where Chinese guilt in “Exploiting the Situation” is clear. If this is compounded by any fact that the Virus leaked out of the Wuhan Virology Institute, the pressure in the cooker will only increase. All things considered; Corona is the Chinese Chernobyl. Change is afoot. Will the inflection point arrive to trigger the Chinese collapse? Will China face another revolution? Will China democratize? No direct answers now. The funny thing about revolutions is that it takes a tinder to light a forest fire. The Chinese Virus might have finally infected its own master. It is a slow burner. Boy, when it does explode it goes into an all-consuming fission. Watch out.



  1. Very logical build up of the unfolding future scenario. China is revising it's toll in order to gain some credibility . One estimat of dead mobile connectiona in Wuhan at millions of deaths in the Hubei province of China . One can never expect any truth from China .

  2. Excellent analysis of several new dimensions

  3. With large of deaths and shattered economies,the world order will change. Those Governments which will still support China will be thrown out of power. China will meet its Water Loo

  4. Good Analysis. There is an other side of it also. China may exploit the situation to its advantage. It may become super power. All the West was sleeping. Its too early to draw conclusions on either side.

  5. The communist parties in India with their leaders like Seethram Yechuri.Prakash Karat. D Raja are all paid stooges of China. None of these guys have said a word against Cbina after the Coronavirus pandemic. The above guys and all other Marxist leaders in Kerala and West Bengal have for many years lived on Chinese funding and working against India from within. Seethram Yechuri claims to be communist but lives a lavish lifestyle. Shouldn't he be shot at Tiananmen Square? But the CCP will garland him for being a Chinese stooge in India and helping the Chinese to work against India. Will the CPI or CPM in Kerala file a $ 1 trillion case against China in the international court for creating the Coronavirus pandemic in Kerala and India. Dr.Thomas Isaac a hard-core communist should answer as Finance Minister of Kerala. Kerala Government should get money from China instead of asking the government of India.

  6. I have always felt that China poses far greater threat to India than Pakistan. In recent times our No one adversary has tried to weaken our economic interest. Indian political leadership in their anxiety to contain China has sacrificed our economic interest. With dismay I've watched demise of Indian Manufacturing sector and our dependece on China increase. Therefore a logical analysis of present situation was a welcome read. The Chinese slide also gives us a great opportunity to further our economic and commercial interest with requisite transparency. I only hope our political and economic leadership seizes the opportunity by undertaking appropriate and correct decision. It the sound economy which in end will provide us with requite comprehensive strength and wellbeing of our people. I only hope our leadership does not follow a divisive political agenda and seized of potential opportunities.

  7. A new world order is likely to emerge with the manufacturing industries moving out of China.World will be hereafter moving towards 5G with more focus on Artificial intelligence.

  8. Rightly daid. Yetchri,D raja or Prakash & vrinds karat are paid slaves of China in India. They have never uttered any word against China as they had been supportive of Kanhaiya,shahela or sharjeel or JNU gang or on democracy & constitution.

  9. A welcome read covering various dimensions which point towards and are the basis of emergence of “a new world order” which is clearly seen on the horizon. India has to now tread extremely wisely and carefully wrt China as well as America. Indian diplomacy will be tested in these troubled times. India has the brightest chance to shine and take the role of a world leader. However, a word of caution… Indian leadership has to ensure communal harmony and good governance inside the country, failing which internal dynamics will be different, leading to chaos everywhere.

  10. It's an eye opener for the humanity at large and who are worst sufferers the poor homeless. An excellent analysis,but of what use? Scare an average person?China seems to be doomed to it's own fate,like Chernobyl catastrophe. But it will leave the the humanity maimed. Day in and day out there is nothing but Corona in every media available. It will drive you crazy so stop reading all this.make the best of these times which you will not see in your life time. Cheet Up.

  11. They will find a convincing reply that they are not to blame, but is a conspiracy of by corrupt bureucrats and Western interests to shift the blame on them. Their propaganda will be masterly deceitful among their stooges who rely on their support.

  12. An incisive analysis. China has an elephant in its 'china shop'. Too massive and in a devastating form. For the Chinese this pandemic is like a nail in its coffin (the end of its present political system). With an economy that will be under tremendous pressure and the severe approbation of the world, the arrogant communist party shall soon meet its nemesis.

  13. All the critical dimensions of the corona nurtured by China have been well enumerated. What next?.Is it start of NBC warfare by one country handling over to other countries.We are paying heavy price in the political, Economical, Societial and Technological front.Hopefully, a remedy to knock down this type of viruses once for all to humanity.

  14. Well analysed and presented. As per Tamil proverb one who thinks evil will get destroyed by the same evil design

  15. A thought provoking article which has all the ingredients of a pot boiler .Time will unfold the shape it takes for Not only China and it's friends but also one of the last bastions of Communism.

  16. A very detailed and threadbare anlasyis of the harakiri with Chinese Virus.

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