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This article, featured in Foreign Affairs magazine, was written by Michael Green and Evan Medeiros, both participating scholars in the U.S.-China Research Group on Managing Strategic Competition, as part of their collaborative research.

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April 15, 2020

The Pandemic Won’t Make China the World’s Leader

Author: Michael Green Evan Medeiros

Early this year, as the novel coronavirus began to spread in China, the predictions were immediate and stark: the outbreak was China’s “Chernobyl moment,” perhaps even “the beginning of the end” for the Chinese Communist Party, with geopolitical consequences that, at a time of growing U.S.-Chinese tension, would play to Washington’s considerable advantage. But then, almost as quickly, the predictions went into reverse. As China appeared to contain the spread of the coronavirus while the United States and Western Europe suffered large outbreaks of their own, the pandemic and the resulting global recession were said to mark a geopolitical reordering that would leave China as the victor.

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