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China’s Bittersweet Recovery From COVID-19

First published: LSEIdeas, China Dialogues 25/01/2020

For the best part of 3 months, the Chinese government suppressed information and discussion related to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. After acknowledgement in late January 2020, followed by draconian containment measures, several pundits thought China would have a ‘Chernobyl moment’. The economy fell into its first officially recognised contraction since the last year of the Cultural Revolution in 1976. President Xi Jinping was thought to be facing the strongest challenge to his office since coming to power in 2012, endangering both his authority, and the legitimacy of China’s ambition for global leadership. The Chernobyl analogy, though, was incorrect. Read on…