China appears in the upper portion of both Figures relative to the regression curve. This means that, conditional on its economic performance, China has been more successful than average in preserving social safety. At the same time , conditional on its COVID performance, China has been more successful than average in keeping its economy going.
The US appears in the upper portion in Figure 3, where COVID is on the horizontal axis. Thus, given its COVID performance, the US has kept successful economic growth. However, that the US appears in the lower portion in Figure 2 means it has suffered unexpectedly high COVID deaths, given its economic performance.
The UK appears below the regression line in both Figures 2 and 3: It has experienced both below-average pandemic safety and economic performance. Failure has occurred on both fronts.