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A portrait of Chinese explorer Zheng He

Relevance beyond the crisis: The impact on East Asia

The COVID-19 crisis has reduced China’s clout and the economic damage it has done could force Beijing to pull back from many of its overseas commitments. Many states will look to diversify their economies away from dependence on the aspiring regional hegemon. It could provide an opportunity for Japan, which could step into the vacuum as an influential regional power and investment destination for high-tech industries.

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