How Will China Emerge From the COVID-19 Crisis?

Published on
July 8th, 2020
52 minutes

How Will China Emerge From the COVID-19 Crisis?

The Interview ·
Featuring George Magnus

Published on: July 8th, 2020 • Duration: 52 minutes

In many ways, China is at the center of the public health and economic crisis that has gripped the entire world for most of 2020, but recently more focus has been placed on the U.S. and Europe. George Magnus, research associate for the China Centre at Oxford University, helps viewers revert their gaze back towards the global superpower sized elephant in the room. Together with Real Vision's Ed Harrison, Magnus examines the current state of affairs for China from the perspective of the western countries left with a bad taste in their mouths after China's handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, but also from the internal perspective of a country looking to restart its growth engine and position itself for a world with fewer allies and a new economy with less reliance on traditional global trade partners. In addition, they examine the health of the Chinese banking system, the return of credit growth in China, and the potential for western sanctions and the outright weaponization of the U.S. dollar. Filmed on July 6, 2020.



  • wj
    wiktor j.
    13 July 2020 @ 11:28
    I am more in Peter Zeihan camp. All the US has to do is leave Asia and China will crumble. This is due to the lack of energy in the region. Unless china creates coal driven cars that is. If Trump wins the election he is going to make an alliance of countries hit hard by the wuhan flu and present china with a bill. At that point China will most likely fall. Their access to dollars will become very limited. As the evidence is still mounting that this came from a lab in Wuhan. Everyone is saying that dollars to china matters less but remember that food is purchased by dollars. China cant feed its people. Okay you might say Russia will help. Tell me then why does Russia import food?
    • NF
      Nat F.
      16 July 2020 @ 19:28
      Great Book
    • DZ
      Dongbin Z.
      29 July 2020 @ 12:22
      "I am more in Peter Zeihan camp. All the US has to do is leave Asia and China will crumble. This is due to the lack of energy in the region. Unless china creates coal driven cars that is." Which is part of how stiffing China's access to USD can hurt China. Which explains China's insecurity about energy, expressed by for example of their money losing bids in Iraqi oil fields, and explains partly why China tightly controls gold outflow. However, just saying, electric cars can be basically driven by coal and it's already invented. (Ofc, China is a proponent of that for too. Probably for different reasons.) "As the evidence is still mounting that this came from a lab in Wuhan." This part is where you pull stuffs out of ass. "Mounting" as in the number of articles you come across which you either skipped or failed to understand the content? I should perhaps be distressed by the amount of idiocy out there as I have to write this: think about what can ever amounts to evidence of COVID-19 coming out of a lab. .... That's right. Nothing.
  • TP
    Timothy P.
    8 July 2020 @ 16:40
    Here's the CCP Plan: 1) Expand its bases on backfilled islands to pressure nearby asian countries 2) Continue its colonization-via-indebted third-world countries (infrastructure loans, outright purchases) 3) Continue to cheat, steal and manipulate as they see fit - from backdoors in technology (Huawei) to propaganda on USA shores (Confucius Institutes) 4) Continue to use the viral outbreak that they failed to contain as leverage to monopolize PPE producttion and impact enemy economies 5) Continue to torture, live-organ harvest and maintain concentration camps for "undesireables" that don't support the Communist ideology 6) Utilize the recently enacted "Security Law" to suppress and interrogate democratic protestors in Hong Kong, shipping many to work camps for "re-education" and finally... 7) Use greed and bribery as a method to tempt investment into their totalitarian regime, whose dollars enable the whole horrible machine to continue operating. That's right, many financial institutions and companies are directly supporting this criminal enterprise. Given RV's softball stance on China, I can only wonder how much of their investment book is CCP-supporting.
    • TP
      Timothy P.
      9 July 2020 @ 12:16
      Its interesting that with all the downvotes, not a single one can be bothered to have any rebuttal to what I'm saying. China's people, the "old hundred names" are living in a totalitarian communist regime, and I feel for them. The CCP however, are a global enemy and should be treated accordingly.
    • MH
      Michael H.
      10 July 2020 @ 11:20
      i think most of us here are familiar with steve bannon's work. we don't really need the cliffs notes version here.
    • DZ
      Dongbin Z.
      29 July 2020 @ 12:10
      Seeing your follow-up comment, perhaps I should feel for you. There are times when individuals assert contrarian views against prevalent opinions that deserve to be questioned, and are ultimately proven wrong or at least a great deal will ultimately be gained from such question -- except these individuals suffer personally. The only reason I say I should perhaps feel for you is for the slight possibility that you feel yourself as being one of such individuals. You are not. You copied your viewpoint from what is fashionable on the internet over the past few months without the slightest effort expended into any of these topics -- without ever once appraising your sources. Yes, I don't need to know you to you did all that. Sigh, even explaining that much feels like a waste of time. I am glad no one bothers to rebut what is obviously a shallow understanding of China that is filled with misinformation and even if all true (ie. not) still have no bearing on understanding China, its economy and how that affects the rest of the world. That's all.
  • TW
    Thomas W.
    8 July 2020 @ 17:49
    I am very interested in the build up of inventory in China. There is a potential for it to become a very large deflationary pleasure.
    • DZ
      Dongbin Z.
      29 July 2020 @ 12:00
      it's in more conceptual term than anything else. The private sector (export is largely private) does not produce inventory without orders -- amidst widespread worry about future demands. When China resumes production to 80%, it's probably about right.
  • CR
    Cory R.
    8 July 2020 @ 20:28
    Trust me on this.. the only way to understand China better is to make a visit there. Also, make a friend from Mainland China and keep in touch with current events with his/her perspective. Also a must is to read direct from Chines news sources. You can't understand China from Western news sources.
    • MD
      Matt D.
      9 July 2020 @ 00:24
      Chinese news sources - you would trust that?
    • RK
      Robert K.
      9 July 2020 @ 01:45
      In contrast to the trust we all have in the NYT, WashPo, et al.?
    • CR
      Cory R.
      9 July 2020 @ 03:44
      "Chinese news sources - you would trust that?" It is not so much about trust as understanding. My comment is about understanding China. To understand them, it helps to 1) go there 2) keep in touch with people there and 3) read what they write about the world... Then use all this information to sift and measure and weigh to get truths about the topic you are seeking.
    • MD
      Matt D.
      9 July 2020 @ 03:56
      @Cory - thanks - your comment makes more sense now. Cheers.
    • AB
      Andrew B.
      9 July 2020 @ 09:30
      Nothing beats being on the ground! I can look out my window and tell you what's going on!
    • TP
      Timothy P.
      9 July 2020 @ 12:14
      I recommend searching for "SerpentZA" on youtube. He will tell you all about China, having lived there for over ten years. He's not there anymore due to the hardliner communists pushing their ideology, which makes it hard for even south african expats to stay. Anyone who trusts China's economic numbers and their media needs their head examined.
    • CX
      Cindy X.
      11 July 2020 @ 13:31
      Cory, you are so absolutely right !!! Every Chinese that I know strongly support their government and will do anything to support the country against foreign bullying and to resist the West to force their ideology over China. Let's face it, China has never tried to force socialism over the West. They are just working hard and make a good living. Why do we fight that? Don't we have fake pities and charity for poor people? Why are we so jealous when people of poor countries do better?
    • SM
      S M.
      16 July 2020 @ 17:57
      Trust me, I was born there in EastTurkistan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). And lived there until 22 years old. And studied in Beijing for almost 3 years at Central University of Finance and Economics. I know exactly how “freely” Chinese People think 🤔 and comment about CCP. I know exactly who controls Chinese news sources. STOP 🛑 saying CCP’s propagandist slogan out of victim playbook. Like “have you ever visited China?”, “Come and see it yourself” , “the West always blames on China”... etc. All these are complete BS.
    • DZ
      Dongbin Z.
      29 July 2020 @ 11:57
      "It is not so much about trust as understanding. My comment is about understanding China. To understand them, it helps to 1) go there 2) keep in touch with people there and 3) read what they write about the world... Then use all this information to sift and measure and weigh to get truths about the topic you are seeking." This is a very kind response to a childish, obtrusive, and obviously purposeful misread of a certain comment.
  • CX
    Cindy X.
    11 July 2020 @ 13:38
    This guy is a premium club member of China Jealousy. He only gave examples how China is being pushed back by other countries. Yet, even he realized how few they are. Otherwise, China would not have become such a strong country and will became #1 GDP country in less than 10 years. The other thing he completely failed to understand or mention is how cohesive the 1.4 billion Chinese are around their government. Every Chinese that I know strongly support their government and will do anything to support the country against foreign bullying and to resist the West to force their ideologies over China. Let's face it, China has never tried to force socialism over the West. Chinese does not have aircraft carriers on our coasts, China does not sanction us for having riots and protests. They are really smart in just working hard and trying make a better living. Why do we fight that? Don't we have fake pities and charity for poor people? Why are we so jealous when people of poor countries do better? Level up your head !!!!
    • sc
      sung c.
      11 July 2020 @ 18:09
      Sorry but this sounds like something written by the Chinese Government.
    • RO
      Richard O.
      16 July 2020 @ 22:46
      Sound like @Cindy.X is a Biased CCP groupie/Affiliate.
  • JL
    James L.
    13 July 2020 @ 00:44
    I do about 30 trips to China per year on average. Last year while in HK, I decide to visit a friend in SZ for dinner. During the cross border trip from HK to ShenZhen, I was put into an interrogating room at customs for about an hour which they also took my passport away. They ask for my letter of invite which luckily I had it in my PC to show them. I hold a 4 years multi trip business Visa to China, which they told me that my Visa is only for business trip and I cannot visit China for leisure. As such I have to amend my purpose of visit to Business. I found out later that holding a business visa doesn't mean anything. This is a problem with China that they could find holes in their law/system to interpret it to their advantage. I do not see how foreigners could put 100% faith in them.
  • sc
    sung c.
    11 July 2020 @ 18:16
    The world needs to understand that China does not want to take over the entire world for the moment, they just want to take over Asia and have control over their third of the world. They'll leave Europe and U.S. alone, but put in place mechanisms which will limit the ability of Europe and U.S. to retaliate without hurting their own economies. IMHO.
    • BS
      Bito S.
      12 July 2020 @ 08:59
      The world also needs to know Communist party plans to enslave the world, just like they did to their own people. Currently they only have the power to force people to self censor anything that may upset them, when China grows even stronger it will probably bring a lot more pain to the world.
  • SM
    S M.
    11 July 2020 @ 19:23
    Great Interview but not strong enough. And It’s NOT Xinjiang Province. It’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomy Region. It’s occupied East Turkistan. China is being fascist invader of Uyghur’s Country. They are doing just what they supposed to do, like building Concentration Camps, Labor Camps, World-Class police state, and using political prisoners for Organ Harvesting and Biogenic weapons. It is not just past 2 years or 6 months phenomenon. The gross human violation in China, especially East Turkistan and Tibet, has been going on since Mao era. And It’s ever been growing in its size and tactics. Over the past 30 years, U.S. lead western countries downplayed all Chinese aggressions and its intellectual property thefts under the primes that it’s only the matter of time for China to become more liberal, first economically then politically. And it’ll meet the democratic aspirations of its own people and will have free open market. Essentially become more like western countries. Believing Chinese that they will nurture the beautiful and quintessentially American idea was couldn’t be more wrong. This miscalculation was the greatest failure of U.S foreign policy since Nazi Germany. Because the more U.S. opens its markets to China, the more invested capital in China, the more training the Chinese bureaucrats, scientists, engineers and military officers the more authoritarian and more closed, state run economy China have become. Now, top U.S officials and world knows, all becoming more educated toward China day by day. The ship has just started to turn. It may take 5-10 years before it makes complete U turn but it won’t stop until all the colonized regions (East Turkistan, Tibet, HK, Manchuria and parts of Mongolia) will get back its freedom and Chinese economy become so small that almost irrelevant to world economy.
  • sc
    sung c.
    11 July 2020 @ 18:08
    No matter how powerful China becomes economically, by in large, the people of the world will never place their trust nor finances in the hands of the Chinese government as they have in the U.S. dollar. China has shown too often how they will take over companies and governments (hong kong). Combined with their unethical treatment of basic human rights as witnessed in the treatment of their own populace (study their organ donor program and where they get their organs from), this leaves little to the imagination how they will treat people of other nations (South China Seas situation and Taiwan), once they gain control. They may speak nice while they are trying to gain access to small nations (Belt and Road initiative), but after gaining control, they will revert to their own selfish ways. In my opinion, once the U.S. Dollar loses its world reserve currency status, which is on way now, the world will look for a new currency system that is unbiased and non-controlled by any power, and that leads to Bitcoin as the best candidate to fill that void.
  • LY
    Leo Y.
    8 July 2020 @ 23:19
    What China should do is to get rid of eurodollar, revalue everything in RMB (or other currencies), and make it float against a basket of commodities. After that, it will become real global engine.
    • JR
      Jason R.
      9 July 2020 @ 21:38
      I don't think many foreign countries are interested in holding RMB. Global preference is for widely-accepted, liquid currencies -- so kind of the opposite of the RMB.
    • LY
      Leo Y.
      10 July 2020 @ 17:40
      You don’t understand what is eurodollars, check Jeff snider, it’s a ledger.
  • MC
    Michael C.
    10 July 2020 @ 07:37
    You tried Ed. Well done. I hope he doesn't read these comments. George is like wet lettuce. The ultimate fence sitter establishment type and way too polite to tell us what he really thinks. Don't rock the boat especially at Oxford.
  • CR
    Cory R.
    9 July 2020 @ 19:01
    We should all realize that the era of Colonialism is over. That includes 'soft Colonialism' which is what we are now witnessing with the Gang of 5 against China. It is time to start the process of international cooperation. Aren't we all tired of the endless conflict anyway?
  • TW
    Tianfang W.
    9 July 2020 @ 14:21
    For anyone who can read Chinese, and truly want to understand it at a deep level, a must read is Stanford Prof Zhou Xueguang's book The Institutional Logic of Governance in China-An Organizational Approach Through the prism of dynamics between local government and central government, you'll understand the root cause of a set of current issues in China, whether it's the early response of COVID-19 in Wuhan, or the shadow banking (btw it's really the bank's shadow, the China's growth model, or the recent HK national security law... If you can't read Chinese, I strongly recommend Trivium China's Tip Sheet
    • LY
      Leo Y.
      9 July 2020 @ 16:17
      Want to know the root cause? Follow Jeffrey Snider.
    • LY
      Leo Y.
      9 July 2020 @ 16:58
  • DB
    Daniel B.
    9 July 2020 @ 08:46
    Still, China's government refused to acknowledge the economic/social damage they have caused globally and worse still, continue to bully nations such as Australia to "shut up, or else".
  • MC
    Mario C.
    9 July 2020 @ 00:51
    Michael Pettis is quoted in the video. It would be great to have him on Realvision platform. I am sure RV has tried already. Not happening, is he reluctant?
  • AN
    Amanda N.
    9 July 2020 @ 00:37
    i think his prediction on China's self reliance is spot on. this is what they will do. China had drastically underestimate US s determination to fight back. I think for that, both Xi and Trump are bad politicians, both are head strong and lacking diplomatic skills. when the biggest 2 economy fights, the rest of the world will suffer. it's unfortunately this happened at the same time in a global pandemic. I hope things will clam down as times goes by and the relationships between China and the west will improve over time. it would be really nice if you can invite Michael Pettis for an interview , he is a great heavy weight authority on China and a great thinker .
  • MD
    Matt D.
    9 July 2020 @ 00:23
    Good interview Ed, thanks and thank you to George Magnus. I think his polite understated nature still conveyed some balanced but quite poignant assessments. "A good recipe for a different inflation environment..." - just keeping things on the DL perhaps. Glad to hear his thoughts on the Belt and Road initiative, after the Horsemen Aussie bloke earlier in the year (Russell Clark) - George seems to have a more balanced view (probably not having to talk his positions/book)? Like the soccer chat - Gunners for the FA Cup!
  • TS
    Theodoros S.
    8 July 2020 @ 21:46
    You know.... he thinks... I think
  • JB
    Julien B.
    8 July 2020 @ 14:46
    thank you George. My one problem with George is he is a English man who said "soccer stadium"... is he a real football fan?
    • EH
      Edward H. | Real Vision
      8 July 2020 @ 19:39
      He’s pandering to my American sensibilities. George would never say it otherwise
    • ly
      lena y.
      8 July 2020 @ 21:35
      George is a gentleman!
  • GF
    Gordon F.
    8 July 2020 @ 20:45
    The concluding part of the conversation about the problems the Chinese have had in developing their semiconductor industry may explain at least a part of the desire of the CCP to bring Taiwan back under their control. Certainly Taiwan is a world-leader in semiconductors. Of course, the Taiwanese are clearly opposed to submitting to the CCP, and what they have just seen happen in Hong Kong is likely to harden their resolve.
  • RK
    Robert K.
    8 July 2020 @ 17:19
    Havertz at CHE would be bad news for the rest of the BPL
  • GV
    Gabriel V.
    8 July 2020 @ 15:56
    They should give Ed his own show to talk about soccer, I'd definitely watch that
  • GL
    G L.
    8 July 2020 @ 14:11
    I always like listening to George Magnus - such an intellectual individual and so well spoken. Great interview.
  • MB
    Michael B.
    8 July 2020 @ 11:53
    If China would become free like the US they could easily have a massive internal market. Millions of well educated very smart people could really make a difference in the world. Check out the proposed Federal Republic of China which would solve a lot of the current problems that China poses. A free world for all
    • SO
      Shaun O.
      8 July 2020 @ 13:14
      That would be a pivot their entire belief system. While it sounds good the chance of a doing 90 degree cultural turn imo is close to zero. especially considering the culture they currently have (in their minds) is what lead to their success.
  • OT
    Omar T.
    8 July 2020 @ 12:57
    I was disappointed in this interview. I feel that George could have been pushed to go deeper into explaining his views. Particularly, I would like to know more detail as to the consequences of china coming out with slower growth moving forward. What happens to the world if there isn't a big growth leader?
  • AF
    Anoop F.
    8 July 2020 @ 08:13
    It appears that you have attached the transcript of a different interview.
    • AB
      April B.
      8 July 2020 @ 09:13
      Apologies, We already had it fixed.
  • AB
    Alastair B.
    8 July 2020 @ 07:36
    Self reliance.... decoupling... are nice ways to say ‘autarky’