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Why China’s commitment and ability to contain the coronavirus outbreak should not be doubted


I take it seriously when the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, China’s highest authority,callsthe novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic “a major test of China's system and capacity for governance” – a phrase of such significance that in my 30-plus years of watching China, I do not recall the like. Let me explain why I am confident – why the world should be confident – that China will overcome the epidemic. I offer three reasons: China’s commitment, competence, and readiness to change and improve.

China’s commitment to fight the coronavirus – which causes the disease now officially known as Covid-19– is exemplified by the country’s astonishing mobilisation to stop its spread. The government is issuing strict and resolute directives. Taoran Notes, a WeChat account linked to the Chinese government, put it this way: “Concentrated treatment and quarantine, if not implemented effectively, is at best a dereliction of duty, at worst a crime. This is not a question of willing or unwilling, should or should not, but of necessity.”


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