he life in China is coming back to normal after defeating the spread of Novel Corona virus, although it may take some more time to be perfectly normal. Wuhan city, the epicentre of the COVID-19, has started witnessing a normal life as the markets, shops, factories and offices are opening after a long lock-down that was imposed in January last to combat the spread of virus.
The results of the three-and-a-half-month lock-down move resulted in better results. Now the situation is that tourists have started coming to the Great Wall of China. However, their number is very less. These situations are in China at a time when almost whole world is under lock- down. Right now, no one has any idea when we will completely overcome the corona. People all over the world are imprisoned in their homes.
In other words, China has now come to a position of economic benefit. When the demand for various goods starts increasing in the whole world, they will obviously look towards China who is the only source left in light of the production in their own countries having come to a standstill. It also includes India more or less. The manufacturing sector of India has been put on its knees by China. By the way, it is also due to our own weakness whereby we did not make adequate efforts to make ourselves self-sufficient.
China exports to India various items, especially machinery, telecom equipment, electrical goods, toys, electrical machinery and equipment, mechanical machinery and equipment, ready-made furniture, project goods, raw materials needed to make generic medicines, Organic Chemical, Iron and Steel, etc. The imports of electrical and telecom equipment have grown significantly over the last few years. By the way, in India both the strength and power is available and we can make most of these things better within the country itself.
However, the Chinese economy has also shrunk due to the impact of the Corona at the moment. Production in factories has declined sharply. But it has the ability, strength and discipline to stand up. Demand from abroad is also decreasing. In comparison to last year (January – February), this year, China’s export has decreased by 17.2% in these two months. According to reliable information from China, factory production there will start gaining momentum to a great extent by the end of this month. So, it may well be understood that China will be in a position to earn billions of dollars by supplying all the essential commodities to the world. He has now started preparing for this economic movement.
When the influence of Corona was at its peak in China, the supply of essential goods to other countries’ industries had almost come to a standstill. This led to a loss of $ 50 billion to other countries as per the information available from the United Nations. Last January, millions of laborers had also left their homes due to Corona and Chinese New Year, which had affected factory production adversely. But as mentioned earlier, after the situation has improved there, now 70 percent companies have become active, which mainly export their goods worldwide. Such a claim is that of China’s Ministry of Commerce.
Newspapers such as the New York Times and The Guardian claim that night clubs have become operational in China’s most elated city of Shanghai. The people there are taking alcohol now as usual. I had been to Shanghai in 1990. Even at that time, it seemed more inclined to modernism than Mumbai. My translator was a government lady doctor who was working as a translator to earn extra. I put a question to her that her father being a professor, mother, a nurse, and herself, a doctor, she can well get a lucrative job in a private hospital after expiry of the bond, then why she was so much crazy about earning money so quickly.
She had candidly answered that she was not there to wait anymore, as she had decided to shift to America, get a doctor’s job there, marry a rich American and lead a life full of fun. On my query how she could afford to leave her parents alone in China, she had smiled with mischievous eyes and replied that she would get American citizenship due to her American husband, on the basis of which her parents will also get a green card there. When this was the mentality of a Chinese young lady in 1990, the present-day situation can well be imagined.
Moreover, those coming in are not even wearing masks. It is clear that life in China is now becoming normal. Meanwhile, traffic is also gaining momentum on Beijing’s main roads. That is, people are leaving their homes for work. The general public can also be seen roaming the parks.
China has now conquered the corona, by dint of strict discipline. This news may be soothing but right now it seems that the whole world will have to depend on China’s imports. If we talk of the major pharma sector companies around the world, they depend to a larger extent on China for getting active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) or the raw material for making and exporting their generic medicines. The ground reality for India too, is that about 75 percent of the raw material has to be imported from China to make these medicines. So, one can understand well how big a crisis Indian pharma companies have been confronted with.
Lumigin, a drug used to eliminate eye pressure, is missing from markets right now. The reason for this is that Indian companies are not able to make it, because they do not have the raw material. It is important that there are about ten medicines in the list of essential medicines, which are possible only from the raw materials of China. It is indeed an unfortunate situation that our pharma sector is heavily dependent on China. India exported more than $ 9 crore worth of medicines to more than 150 countries of the world in the year 2018-19. But this happened because we were constantly getting raw materials from China.
There is now a clear indication that the economy of India, which is decaying from Corona, will continue to need Chinese help. The good thing is that after the Doklam dispute, the relationship between the two countries is getting sweeter due to the understanding between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Chin, the top leaders of both the countries. Moreover, during his last year’s visit, Chinese President had received an unprecedented welcome in India.
However, there is no doubt that the bitter memories of the 1962 war are still fresh in the minds of the Indian public. Whatever it may say, India and China have come closer in bilateral relations as a universal neighbor. Chinese companies are taking a very positive view of heavy investment in India. Thousands of Chinese citizens are also living in Gurugram, adjacent to Delhi. They are professionals from various Chinese companies operating in India.
In a nutshell, China’s private sector now wants to improve relations with India. It is aware of the huge market of India, and the interesting thing is that the Communist Party of China, i.e., the government of China, holds 50 percent shares of all the companies in the country. Today, the whole world is looking at China with hopeful eyes, recovering from Corona’s attack. India is also not untouched. It is now the responsibility of China to heal the wounds of the world suffering from Corona. Indeed, their economy will continue to move towards the heights of development in this sequence.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)