Neutrality as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Pedro Isern

The implications of coronavirus are not merely related to health and economic issues, but rather, they are mainly ethical and political in nature. In the last 20 years, the economic benefits of being a close partner to China have been clear, and, on the other hand, the ethical and political costs have been vague. We have acknowledged the important economic benefits and we have ignored the evident institutional threats.
Coronavirus has radically changed that relationship. Now, economic benefits are being diluted and the cost is not only concrete, but also growing. This cost goes beyond material losses because it is, literally, the possibility of getting sick.
This crisis prompts us to ponder what type of relationship we have established with China. Particularly, it makes us question how and why we fell into the neutrality trap.