Beijing warned of "Tiananmen-like" global backlash over COVID-19 outbreak.

Reuters has reported on an internal Chinese report which warns that Beijing is facing a rising wave of hostility in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that could tip relations with the United States into confrontation, citing people familiar with the paper.

The report, Reuters states, was presented early last month by the Ministry of State Security to top Beijing leaders including President Xi Jinping, and concluded that global anti-China sentiment is at its highest since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

As a result, "Beijing faces a wave of anti-China sentiment led by the United States in the aftermath of the pandemic and needs to be prepared in a worst-case scenario for armed confrontation between the two global powers, according to people familiar with the report’s content, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter".

The report was drawn up by the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, China’s top intelligence body.

The content of the report seems to echo that which is already happening as western nations contemplate imposing tariffs on China, boycotting Chinese made goods, and even seeking reparations from the country amid suggestions that Beijing withheld vital information, hiding the extent, and the origin, of the outbreak that has claimed a quarter of a million lives worldwide.

The wisdom of continuing to rely on extended supply chains for vital and strategic goods is being seriously questioned, as is the concept of globalisation itself.

That the first reaction of the 27 EU member states to the crisis was to close their borders to neighbouring states came as an unexpected shock to the European Commission.

The legacy of the coronavirus pandemic may be a reappraisal of the de facto abandonment of the Westphalian order, and the return of nation state primacy.

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