The World After COVID – 19: A View From Malaysia

The transformation of the Post-Cold War global order has been underway since the mid 2000s. The unipolar era of US hegemony is fading away, while the world is entering into а multi-polar system. Many experts now talk about the return of rivalry between the great powers. The key feature of the 21st century geopolitics will be the rivalry between the US and China. It remains to be seen if Beijing and Washington are able to avoid a confrontation and choose the path of managed competition. 

The COVID–19 pandemic will definitely have its impact on the evolution of world geopolitics. The efficient struggle against the Virus requires international cooperation. In the meantime governments have resorted to increasing national sovereignty and seeking more localised solutions to the issues that emanate from the pandemic.  

The world is already witnessing the start of conflicts around narratives. Many in the US and the EU accuse China of an alleged initial weak response which resulted in widespread dissemination of the virus. Meanwhile China has blamed the US military for bringing the Virus into Wuhan. Thus the COVID–19 pandemic may either usher a new era of cooperation or may trigger an intensified confrontation between China and the US. 

US-China confrontation/cooperation will largely shape the new world order after the pandemic.

Benyamin Poghosyan, CivilNet’s host of the “Crossroad” project, discusses these issues with Ong Tee Keat, founding Chairman of the Centre for New Inclusive Asia, a leading think-tank based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Mr. Ong Tee Keat is the former Deputy Speaker of the Malaysian House of Representatives. He joined CivilNet from Kuala Lumpur.

CivilNet thanks the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) for their cooperation and support.