The coronavirus pandemic took nearly two million lives worldwide and caused unprecedented economic devastation this year, but 2020 had at least three big winners who came out stronger in spite of – or perhaps because of – the pandemic: the world’s billionaires, Silicon Valley’s tech lords, and communist China, where the virus originated.
China’s communist regime is sounding increasingly triumphalist in the wake of the economic destruction wreaked by the pandemic that originated in Wuhan and could have been prevented by Beijing. China’s communist dictator Xi Jinping boasted in his New Year’s Eve address that China is “the first major economy worldwide to achieve positive growth” in 2020, while the rest of the world’s economy shrank.
“China’s economy is projected to grow by 2% in 2020 and by another 8.4% in 2021. By the end of next year, its economy is expected to be 10.6% larger than it was at the beginning of this year,” Axios reports. “By contrast, after shrinking by 3.6% this year and growing by a projected 4% next year, the U.S. economy is going to end 2021 just 0.25% larger than it was at the beginning of 2020.”
Much of this is due to China’s dominance of global manufacturing; and with the whole world still reeling from the pandemic, China is moving to solidify its monopoly on the world’s supply chains through expanded free trade agreements, including a new agreement with the European Union. The pandemic’s economic damage has also allowed China to buy influence in the Third World through its international infrastructure program known as the Belt and Road Initiative, which the U.S. government has criticized as imperialist colonization via a predatory debt scheme.
As Breitbart’s Frances Martel reported:
The Chinese communist state documented a record-high trade surplus in November. Exports around the world increased 21.1 percent over November 2019 despite widespread reports that Beijing is relying heavily on enslaving its ethnic minority Uyghur population to keep production costs low. Dozens of international companies — including big names like Apple, Nintendo, and Nike — have been implicated in the use of Uyghur slave labor, some believed to be based in concentration camps.
Those not outright enslaved may also be vulnerable to forced labor, particularly in the cotton-picking industry. Offered few other options, many Uyghurs work in the cotton industry, sometimes becoming involved without clear consent, researcher Adrian Zenz revealed last month.
Much of the increase in exports for China has been the product of the pandemic causing other countries to limit their manufacturing sectors, and most economic activity in general. China’s imports from outside also declined, given the limited economic activity around the world, resulting in a staggering $460 billion trade surplus with the rest of the world in November.
The Center for Economics and Business Research, a U.K. think tank, predicted this month that, in part because of the pandemic, China was on a speedier path to becoming the world’s largest economy than it had ever been, and may overtake the United States by 2028.
The key to China’s economic resilience lies in its manufacturing sector, which bounced back faster from the pandemic, as did the U.S. manufacturing sector. For example, the U.S. automotive industry was among the industries to get back to work after the initial lockdown because it could set up clear safety protocols to keep factories Covid-free by keeping factory workers six feet apart, distributing protective gear, setting up cleaning stations, and alternating work shifts to deep clean the plant and limit any exposure from Covid outbreaks.