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Why China's response to the coronavirus could never be replicated here

Clifford Coonan



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A brief flurry of views set social media alight. Since then China’s rulers have turned the virus fight into a ‘people’s war’ and taken aim at critics. Picture: Getty

A brief flurry of views set social media alight. Since then China’s rulers have turned the virus fight into a ‘people’s war’ and taken aim at critics. Picture: Getty

Getty Images

A brief flurry of views set social media alight. Since then China’s rulers have turned the virus fight into a ‘people’s war’ and taken aim at critics. Picture: Getty

Some images of China's muscular approach to combating the coronavirus outbreak stand out. Busy JCBs building a hospital in just one week in the stricken city of Wuhan.

President Xi Jinping, who kept a low profile in the outbreak's early days, suddenly emerging on state media visiting health research facilities and offering advice. Enforcers wearing red armbands smashing up illicit, potentially infectious mahjong games. Officials welding people into their apartments for enforced quarantine.

In China, 'Big Data' is watching you. The ruling Communist Party has imposed massive lockdowns and used its formidable network of electronic surveillance to enforce them. The most comprehensive lockdown was in virus epicentre Wuhan and nearby cities in Hubei province. A whopping 50 million people are under mandatory quarantine.


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