The World Health Organisation now release statements warning of the Coronavirus becoming a worldwide epidemic with no vaccine on the horizon for possibly up to 18 months.
The Chinese Government went in to economic shutdown mode closing factories and turning away importers of a wide range of products and services. Millions of workers in China have been told to stay at home.
Imperialism has developed in a way that China has become "the workshop of the world" and when China shuts up shop so to speak the consequences are widespread.
This is particularly the case in relation to Australia. In the period 1970 to 2010 one government after another became the executive committee for imperialism's global plans to turn Australia in to a receiver rather than a producer of manufactured goods. During this period, the Australian economy became reliant on exports of minerals and other natural resources, and agricultural products. Most of these products such as iron ore, liquid natural gas, coal, and grapes in the form of wine built up a heavy reliance on China as their export destination.
Added to this was tertiary education and tourism, both named as "export industries" even though the "product" in the form of overseas students and tourists from overseas come here!
In return Australia became flooded with imported manufactured goods of almost every consumer item you can imagine and most of these were, and still are, manufactured in China. Even what is still manufactured here is often reliant on crucial parts that are manufactured overseas, and in China in particular.
The Coronavirus outbreak has exposed the fragility of the imperialist world economy and how quickly this economic and political domination by imperialist powers can ruin the lives of people all over the globe, Australia in particular.
One only has to read the capitalist press financial papers to see this.
For example, articles in the Weekend Financial Review of 15-16 February reveal the following impact of the Coronavirus:
* Tertiary education sector: For each 10% reduction in overseas students from China, 7,500 jobs in Australian universities and related services are lost. There are 105,833 overseas students from China in the Big 8 universities who are current visa holders. The exorbitant fees they pay to study here amounts to $2.18 billion per year. The total number of overseas students from China is 165,000. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and government policies at home and in China, most of these students will not arrive in Australia at least until the second semester and maybe beyond that depending on what happens with the Coronavirus.
*Last week China's biggest importer of LNG, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, announced it would no longer take delivery of contracted cargoes.
* The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade has been offering "force majeure" certificates to companies based in China. Forced majeure is legal recognition that a company cannot meet its obligations because of circumstances beyond its control.
* Major companies including Rio Tinto, Blackmores, Cochlear and the tourism retail and Casino sectors have already claimed slowdowns which will result in loss of jobs in Australia.
* The $45 billion cruise industry is being hit as its various corporations cancel bookings by people even remotely connected to China for fear of a Coronavirus on one of their cruise liners.
Independence In An Interconnected World
Imperialism has developed in a way to make small economies like Australia extremely vulnerable when there is a major event in another country in the world, particularly China.
While imperialism exists in the world it is imperative that countries like Australia become independent economically, politically and militarily from the big imperialist powers. The Coronavirus highlights the insecurity for the people of Australia in having such a lopsided economic base and high dependency on China, a new imperialist power, economically.
Insecurity extends to Australia's political and military dependence on China's main rival, US imperialism.
One day, when all countries are socialist countries and imperialism has ceased to exist, there will still be the possibility of viruses for which there is no initial vaccine and control. In such cases, the region of the outbreak may well be quarantined as is the case in Hubei province. However, with each country ruled by the workers with more balanced economies of those countries and each country giving a helping hand to the country effected by the virus outbreak, the impact of the virus will be minimal and more easily overcome for the benefit of all humanity.