CORONAVIRUS – CULTURAL-POLITICAL AND INTERNATIONAL ASPECT
THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS: IMPACT AND IMPLICATIONS ON RECONSTRUCTION OF SERBIAN AND CHINA’S POLITICAL AND CULTURAL IDENTITY
In this paper we discuss the impact and implications that the crisis caused by COVID-19 has on transformation of the Chinese political culture related to China’s change and ambition to displace the United States as the leading world power, as well as on the Serbian political cultural identity related to its change in policy framework amidst the ongoing pandemic war. However, due to the complexity of the topic, the second part of the research related to the analysis of President Vučić’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the full results of the research that embody the Serbian political culture will be published shortly. Also, by the politics of prevention, we interpreted firstly the possibility of scientific prediction and the capacity for controlled government intervention in social life. In that sense, we recognised that a range of public health measures including physical distancing, isolation, quarantine, hand washing, wearing masks, the temporary closure of public spaces, testing and contact tracing is surely necessary to control the COVID-19 pandemic despite the possible collective orientation in a distinctive ‘epidemic psychology’ that can activate other crises like those of mental health conditions (such as generalised anxiety and depression) and is rooted in the fundamental properties of human interaction and especially within a ‘fractured society’ Additionally, in this part of research we also addressed the questions related with “new era for socialism with Chinese characteristics” proclaimed by Xi Jinping in October 2017. It is clear that since Xi Jinping formally ascended to power in 2013, China has been entering the second, and current, stage of nation-promoting, with the goal of “building group cohesion and group loyalty for purposes of the well-known superior “China Model”. The idea of a China-centric, integrated global order whose interconnectedness is underpinned by China’s standards and “wisdom” is central to Xi Jinping’s vision of “Common Destiny” in the New Era. The initiative of building a community with a shared future is inspired by the traditional Chinese philosophy that reflects profound thinking on the future of mankind and embodies a spirit of humanity. In other words, countries may cooperate on mutual interests while preserving not only their diverse “social systems and development paths” but also, implicitly, a certain reserve and separation. The premises of a Community of “Common Destiny”, moreover, include a major departure from the past through “One Belt, One Road”, which seeks to build “policy, infrastructure, trade, financial, and people-to-people connectivity” linking China and maritime and continental Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, Latin America, and the Arctic. Today, mankind has become a close-knit community of common destiny shaped by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). International interests are highly convergent and nations are all mutually dependent on one another in order to prevent or reduce transmission of COVID-19 infection. In our concluding remarks, we stress that actual questions evaluate China’s possibility to seek an alternative global order and its nature in comparison with the role of the United States today, as well as the impact of the Communist Party of China’s (CCP) ideology and its invocation of “Chinese culture” on China’s ambitions to displace the United States as the leading world power. Likewise we outlined that the most important change is, change in behaviour and attitude of China. Evidently, China has moved away from its policy of self-restraint. Now, it does not shy to engage in “tit-for-tat” encounter. The new strategy is changing the rules of game and accelerating the process of change. The recent events suggest that China and USA will engage in a furious competition to secure their positions and interests at global level, which will affect the global order and individual countries. It will put pressure on countries to take a side; especially on the developing countries like Serbia which will be under more pressure to accept the newest version of Chinese, American or Russian vaccine. Thus, national identity will exert a significant impact on both the Chinese and Serbian domestic political trajectory and foreign relations.