A a new east-west divide has been created by the coronavirus. While Western Europe suffers, East Asia is feasting on the fruits of its ruthless but effective crackdown on the pandemic.
Last week France imposed curfews in major cities, Spain closed bars and restaurants, Italian doctors lamented growing pressure on hospitals and the Czech Republic closed schools. Chancellor Angel Merkel has warned of impending “disaster” in Germany as Britain moves from chaos to crisis.
In East Asia and the Pacific region, it could not be more different. In China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand, economic, cultural and sporting activity is picking up. There are still clusters of Covid-19 in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, but the curve has flattened.
Even the Chinese city where the coronavirus