Coronavirus: President Xi Jinping promotes allies in shake-up to ease growing public criticism

Reshuffle comes amid anger over early attempts to suppress information on severity of outbreak

President Xi Jinping promoted political allies in a reshuffle yesterday to better tackle an outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in Hubei province and deal with a restive Hong Kong as part of efforts to ease growing criticism.

The shake-up comes amid widening public displeasure about what critics said were early attempts by local officials to suppress information about the severity of the epidemic - the latest and biggest crisis facing Mr Xi since he assumed power in 2012 - which has spread to about two dozen countries since December, infecting more than 60,000 and killing close to 1,400 people.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2020, with the headline 'Xi promotes allies in shake-up to ease growing public criticism'. Print Edition | Subscribe