SEOUL – The COVID-19 pandemic has not been the West’s finest hour. Most Western governments failed to contain the deadly outbreak and the resulting economic damage effectively. And by pursuing inward-looking and protectionist policies, they have contributed relatively little to an effective international response to the coronavirus.
Against this background, some regard the current crisis as a tipping point that will accelerate Asia’s global resurgence. They point out that Asian countries managed the pandemic better than the West did, and argue that the region’s robust and resilient economic performance over the past half century demonstrates the superiority of its governance systems.