Coronavirus: China's inflection point and the CCP's fundamental dilemma

A Leninist state loath to give up control, the Chinese Communist Party regime must also yield to market efficiencies. But no good balance has been struck. Meanwhile, the US-China trade war and identity politics in Hong Kong and Taiwan add up to a dangerous mix.

The Covid-19 crisis has starkly highlighted China's strengths and weaknesses.

Which other country has the political will and capability to quarantine a province of 60 million? Which other country could build a new hospital in 10 days? But it also has to be asked: Why were such drastic measures and Herculean efforts necessary in the first place?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2020, with the headline 'China's inflection point and the CCP's fundamental dilemma'. Print Edition | Subscribe