The Chinese Communist Party Struggles to Contain the Coronavirus Fallout

A paramilitary officer wearing a face mask stands guard at the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, China, January 27, 2020. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)
Public-health crises are a test of government.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE C rises, particularly unexpected ones, can make or break a government as much as an individual.

In 2019, China “celebrated” 70 years of Communist Party rule. China’s economic growth was at the lowest it’s been in three decades. And it faced the added political challenge of the Hong Kong protests, as well as the economic strain of an escalating trade war with the United States. Nevertheless, 2020 brought a more urgent challenge.

The Chinese government’s recent quarantine of 60 million people — roughly the size of Italy — is unprecedented. At the last count, China’s death toll from COVID-19 — also known as

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