12th Vietnam-France decentrialized cooperation conference 31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Diplomacy in the time of the coronavirus pandemic
Ambassador Tran Duc Mau 06:51, 2020/04/09
This pandemic doesn't totally change the diplomacy but gives it a new face and mean and makes clear how it from now on becomes.

At present, the whole world is going through an unprecedented situation because of the coronavirus pandemic. Countries are under lockdown. People's daily life is slowing down. Nation states  seclude themselves. The pandemic changes the world and thus the diplomacy. Welcome to the diplomacy in the time of the coronavirus pandemic!

 China has promoted "mask diplomacy" worldwide. Photo: Nikkei

Not foreign but domestic policy becomes the top national priority everywhere. The major task of governments are now to stop the expansion of the pandemic and to reverse it. For the first time, diplomacy goes almost totally online. This is enough to assert that diplomacy is profoundly changing and changed by the pandemic.

Nation states are now the decisive players, not international organizations or multilateral alliances or institutions. All other themes on the agenda of world politics are overshadowed by this pandemic. Nothing is now more urgent and relevant than dealing with the pandemic. Like it or not, diplomacy must shift away from world politics to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic obviously changes the constellation between national states and international and multilateral institutions, at least for the time being, but perhaps also forever to some extent.

In the time of the coronavirus pandemic, diplomacy is mostly directed by the newly defined part of the national interests prior to being decided by the principles of the classical diplomacy. Nation states have no other alternative and their outside partners have to accept it. That doesn't automatically mean bilateral or multilateral relationships between states would deteriorate but only implies that they could and would be different to the pre-pandemic period without deteriorating.

The pandemic challenges the diplomacy by limiting the acting radius of the diplomacy. World politics steps aside and subordinates national politics. Foreign policy serves domestic policy. Dealing with the pandemic is much more domestic and only involves a little bit foreign affairs. So is the world in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the pandemic also created chances and opportunities for the diplomacy to play its borne game between states and partners. It is the game with protection masks which is given the name "the mask diplomacy". It is the game with information about the origins and the course of dealing with the pandemic. It is diplomatic campaigns to win partners and to disgrace adversaries, to meet public demand inside and to enhance influences outside the country.

This pandemic doesn't totally change the diplomacy but gives it a new face and mean and makes clear how it from now on becomes.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are of his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hanoitimes.

TAG: pandemic coronavirus Diplomacy
Other news
15:31, 2023/31/15
A diplomatic thunderbolt with geopolitical impacts
The restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia would reshape the political and security landscape in the Middle East and the Gulf region.
07:16, 2023/16/05
No good times for G20
The war in Ukraine continues to dominate the general agenda of the G20, overshadowing all other issues that originally generated the historically born mission, role and influence of the bloc in world politics.
19:59, 2023/59/27
Settlement without plan
It is purely the listing of China's guidelines for ending the war in Ukraine.
10:46, 2023/46/27
Crash of men's rhetoric
They both need new vessels for their old wine.
08:56, 2023/56/26
Vietnam and Australia – 50 years of partnership and prosperity
Australia, the first industrialized nation to establish relations with Vietnam following the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, continues the support Vietnam to put their relationship on an extraordinary journey in which Vietnam is now one of Australia’s most important partners.
16:35, 2023/35/10
NATO's new ambition
Going global and having a stand in the Indopacific, NATO would have one other explanation to justify its further existence in today's world.