Beijing’s information strategy appears to have changed in recent weeks — one of many facets of geopolitics the coronavirus has upended in its wake. How that strategy unfolds — including whether these changes stick or constitute a one-time departure — and how the United States engages will have implications for the contest between democrats and autocrats.
The world following the pandemic is unlikely to be radically different from the one that preceded it. COVID-19 will not so much change the basic direction of world history as accelerate it.
Indeed, politics and world events were like quicksand beneath our feet. Abroad, the Syrian civil war raged, Iraq teetered, and the emergence of ISIS—the successor to the al-Qaeda affiliate that took root in Iraq after our invasion—drew the United States back into a new counterterrorism campaign
Crises have a way of separating the leader-like wheat from the opportunistic chaff. So who’s leading and who’s seeking political advantage?