Coronavirus outbreak

Xi Jinping in control as China faces criticism over virus control

More heads expected to roll but experts say powerful Chinese leader, who has no challengers to his post, unlikely to take the fall

BEIJING • China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak has drawn both praise and criticism at home and abroad, but when it comes to the court of public opinion as to whether extraordinary measures during extraordinary times are working, the jury remains out.

The contagion is the latest and biggest crisis facing President Xi Jinping since he assumed the reins of power in late 2012. He grappled with a slowing domestic economy last year which was exacerbated by a trade and tech war with the United States, coupled with months of unrest in Hong Kong and accusations that China detained up to one million Uighur Muslims in a campaign against terrorism and religious extremism.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2020, with the headline 'Xi in control as China faces criticism over virus control'. Subscribe