Weve Got to Communicate during and after this Pandemic

As an ordinary Chinese lawyer, only during this extraordinary times, with limited knowledge and language skills, I would like to make this extraordinary efforts communicating with the world!

Tingyong Liu | Senior Partner

Shanghai Jie Hua Law Firm

[email protected]


has always been hard

Not to talk about communication between strangers, even family members, speaking the same language, sharing the same background, and having enough knowledge of each other, sometimes still find it difficult to have a real conversation with each other.

In the case of people from different backgrounds, speaking different languages, the barriers for effective communication seem insurmountable.

Because of the pandemic outbreak, talking between people from different countries became even harder. A lot of experts are predicting that after COVID-19 phase out, there will be a reversal of globalization, and relations between some major countries, especially US and China, will never go back where it used to be.

But we must talk!

There is no way to settle issues other than talking.

There used to be other ways to settle disputes between tribes and between countries. Genocide, massacre and war used to be the ultimate means for settling issues, even more effective than Settlements through consultation and assimilation. But, during this nuclear age, we human beings simple lost those kinds of cruel but effective options. 

In the cold war era, both sides contemplated those options for decades. After radical rhetoric spread and a lot of resources wasted, big powers sit aroundthe same table. There were touch-and-go situations where this world risked being destroyed. 

There is no reason going back to those days. We will be judged by future generations if not learning some lessons from recent history.

Communication is essential for coping with the common threats.

It is always easy to blame someone for misfortunes. But looking at the bigger picture, blaming one country or one group of people is missing the point. Its been said that the virus might initially be carried by bat, and it might originate in a wet market of Wuhan. But, how many people in this world received some decent education about this danger? Who should be blame for that? If some domestic animal accidentally eat some bat shit and cause the spread of this virus, does that make things better? Instead of real science and education, do we focused more on wealth and entertainment? Did we also contribute to the over exploitation of the earth?

For the last two decades, terrorism and immigration problems also look like having their places of origin. It is soon realized that single incident happened in one place does not mean it is a regional problem. Afghanistan was invaded because of hoarding terrorists, but nowadays domestic terrorists attack nations and their people. Immigrants from one country swarmed into neighboring countries, but people from one after another country became homeless and seeking survival by fleeing their homes. Together with this pandemic, these are all global issues requiring global solutions. No country can solve this alone, even within its own territory.

And climate change. If this pandemic tells us anything, it is how ignorant we can be, how ill-prepared we can be, and how vulnerable we can be. Just imagine, if global warming and climate change are really happening like some scientists warned! The whole planet might be ruined! We simply do not have the luxury of wasting a few more decades like in the cold war. We need to talk, and we need to cooperate.  

On the contrary of the pessimistic forecast by some experts about global cooperation, this pandemic should serve as the biggest wake-up call. We need to coordinate much better after this. Every government should shoulder some responsibility not only for the good of its country, but also for the well-being of the whole world. Every intellectual should try harder not only for research and communication, but also for educating others. 

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