The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a growing geopolitical perception of Asia’s rise and the decline of the West.
To a large extent, East Asian countries have managed to control the number of infections and particularly the number of virus-related deaths proportional to population. By contrast, case totals are between 50 and 100 times higher in Europe and the United States. Even in Germany, which has put up the best fight against the virus in Europe, the COVID-19 fatality rate is almost 20 times higher than that of Japan or South Korea.
While the pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to economic activity in both the East and West, East Asia has a much easier path to recovery. China is acting as an engine of growth. Japan has seen an increase in capital investment (including planned investments) in manufacturing among large companies and the unemployment rate has barely passed 3 percent.