COVID-19 Pandemic, China and Global Power Shifts: Understanding the Interplay and Implications

Jamie Halsall, Ian Gillespie Cook, Michael Snowden, Roopinder Oberoi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftershock might be a game changer for global relations. Arguably, COVID-19 has increased de-globalization, great power competition, and political warfare; this has fostered active debate around potential power outcomes in the years to come. The global pandemic has quite quickly shifted power and influence from the west to the east, as China’s positioning in the world is now in an intense spotlight. A strategic driver of China’s outbound bid for more economic power is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Unsurprisingly, however, the BRI scheme has experienced delays and disruption due to quarantine and containment measures that have been imposed. The COVID-19 pandemic is emerging as a moment of reckoning for China’s role in the global economy, particularly in two areas: (1) its supremacy, and (2) control of supply chains globally. This chapter, which includes research on COVID-19 and Global Power Shifts, aims to provide an overview of key aspects of how COVID-19 alters the flow of BRI activity. It will try to respond to the question of whether COVID-19 could restructure the global order.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Globalization with Chinese Characteristics
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case of the Belt and Road Initiative
EditorsPaulo Afonso Brardo Duarte , Francisco José Bernardino da Silva Leandro, Enrique Martínez Galán
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan, Singapore
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789811967009
ISBN (Print)9789811966996
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2023


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