A rocky road ahead for COVID-19 fight, economic recovery
Editor's note: According to a recent IMF report, the global economy will shrink by three percent this year due to COVID-19. The lingering China-U.S. trade war will likely make the situation worse. With all the uncertainties, where is the international community heading？In this video, three international students – Daniel Quirk, Natasha Lock and Sandile Dlamini who study at the Yenching Academy of Peking University in China share their insights. The opinions expressed in this video are theirs, and do not necessarily reflect those of CGTN.
CGTN: In this unique situation, what can be done to boost the global economy and promote development?
Daniel: I think probably the most important way at the moment is by making sure that we can uphold global economic cooperation. I think, when we've had periods of crises or periods of destruction after war, what we've seen is that societies which are able to rebuild themselves the most successfully are those which are able to work together across countries and across regions to assist their economic recovery.
Natasha: I think that the decoupling that we're seeing at the moment, between the U.S. and China, seems such a step backwards from all that we achieved in the 20th century. I think a real, real factor in play here is the Trump administration not being able to articulate what's realistic and what they actually want from China. And this all routes down to a lack of understanding about China from the Trump administration.
CGTN: Due to the pandemic, many industries have stalled. As a student, what suggestions do you have about improving this grim employment situation?
Daniel: I think what's key is the employers and organizations the students may want to work with in the future are really going to want to see that students have used this time effectively and in this substantive way to develop their own skills. So my suggestions would be to look for internship opportunities, to look for online courses in different fields that they might be interested in to try and gain new expertise or to learn a new language.
Dlamini: I think the most important thing, out of everything, is that politicians should not try and capitalize on this pandemic. What needs to be done is to save lives. I think what the government needs to do most is to really try and put their attention towards saving more medium enterprises, investing in small-medium companies because small-medium enterprises are the backbone of the economy.
CGTN: Western countries, including the U.S., have repeatedly criticized China for the COVID-19 outbreak. What will happen with China-U.S. relations? And how will it affect the world economy?
Daniel: What's important to remember here is that U.S.-China relations have been strained for quite some time now, before COVID-19 even. And I think it's been slowly deteriorating year by year. It probably takes quite some time and quite a lot of trust building between both parties to improve those relations.
I think the most challenging thing for a number of countries at the moment is how will they balance their relationships with both China and the U.S. at the same time. And I'm worried that maybe what we'll see is a number of countries turning more inwards, looking more inwards, as a result of struggling to balance this relationship between China and the U.S.
Natasha: I think the relationship between China and the U.S. is very tricky at the moment. There needs to be less blame of who's done what and more how can we take this and work together to find a solution. We're dealing with a different enemy here. It's not a power, it's not a country, it's not a person, it's a disease that affects all of us. And so there's no one person that you can blame for.
Interviewer: Yang Chuchu
Graphic design: Liu Shaozhen
Video editing: Wang Zengzheng, Zhang Dian and Zhang Chunan
Senior producer: Bi Jianlu
Managing director: Mei Yan
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