East Asia Watch

China, the coronavirus crisis and lessons in regional leadership

Chinese dominance will not be derailed by outbreak but Beijing can do more to settle questions of trust and transparency

In the days after the world began to take notice of the coronavirus outbreak in China that was beginning to spread beyond its shores, the Herculean efforts by the Chinese to control and contain it were earning them plaudits.

Among the breathtaking displays of what a concentration of power could accomplish: the building of two hospitals with a total of 2,500 beds within a fortnight at the epicentre of Wuhan city; the lockdown of Wuhan and surrounding cities, effectively quarantining nearly 60 million people; the quick sequencing and sharing of the virus' genome with the rest of the world; and more.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2020, with the headline 'China, the coronavirus crisis and lessons in regional leadership'. Subscribe