China has a unique kind of control over its residents, taking authoritarian actions that seem to be having success against the outbreak. But in countries where the government has less power, will the measures work?
The New York Times: China May Be Beating The Coronavirus, At A Painful Cost
As the new coronavirus races around the world, tanking markets, cutting off global travel and suspending school for hundreds of millions of children, governments are desperate for ways to contain it. China, the place where it first appeared, says it has the answers. To the surprise of some, the country that concealed and mismanaged the initial outbreak appears to be bringing it under control, at least by its own official figures. The number of new cases reported has fallen dramatically in recent days even as infections are surging in other countries. The World Health Organization has praised Beijing’s response. Officials reported only 99 new cases on Saturday, down from around 2,000 a day just weeks ago, and for the second day in a row, none were detected in Hubei Province outside of its capital, Wuhan, the center of the outbreak. (Qin, 3/8)
The Wall Street Journal: Democracy, Dictatorship, Disease: The West Takes Its Turn With Coronavirus
Western democracies confronting the spread of the novel coronavirus are facing a test with profound implications for their future: Will they fail where authoritarian China, which is touting itself as an alternative model for the world, is succeeding? Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, has already become the most consequential public-health crisis in generations, forcing lockdowns of entire regions, disrupting international travel and damaging the global economy—all of this just weeks since the disease has begun to spread outside China. (Trofimov, 3/8)
The Associated Press: China Turns To Propaganda To Right Image In Virus ‘War’
As the rest of the world grapples with a burgeoning virus outbreak, China’s ruling Communist Party has deployed its propaganda playbook to portray its leader as firmly in charge, leading an army of health workers in a “people’s war” against the disease. The main evening news on state TV regularly shows President Xi Jinping and his underlings giving instructions on the outbreak or touring related facilities. Coverage then segues to doctors and nurses on the front lines, drawing on a tradition of upholding model workers and the importance of sacrifice on behalf of the people and the party. (Moritsugu, 3/9)
The New York Times: In Coronavirus Fight, China’s Vulnerable Fall Through The Cracks
Lucifer Zhang, who is deaf and cannot speak, was able to get by on her $140 monthly stipend from the government. Then China locked down her home city, Wuhan, in late January to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Now she has to buy face masks and disinfectants. And since Wuhan residents aren’t allowed out of their apartment compounds, Ms. Zhang, 32, and her mother, a retiree, can no longer scavenge the nearby markets for bargains. Groceries have to be ordered online and delivered, adding to prices that have already been driven up by scarcity. (Yuan, 3/9)
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