Coronavirus Proves One Thing: China's Rise Is Built on Quicksand

Jarrett Stepman

Despite China’s incredible economic success as of late, it’s important to remember that it is still fundamentally a communist country.

Recent events have been a stern reminder.

Freedom can be messy, but it’s nothing like the mess an authoritarian regime creates when it fears losing power.

The disturbing outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China and the communist government’s response to it should be a reminder of the consequence of a system based on state control, without rule by the people and a vibrant civil society.

Many are impressed by the fact that China built a 1,000-bed hospital in 10 days—by employing about 7,000 people who worked around the clock.

However impressive that feat might be, it’s important to consider how dangerous the virus has become and the lack of communication and coordination that could have taken place to avoid having to take such extreme measures.

The virus initially broke out on Dec. 8 in China’s Wuhan province. Instead of immediately informing the public and bringing awareness to a potential outbreak of a highly contagious disease, the local governmental authorities waited three weeks to inform residents.

The Chinese government also actively attempted to suppress information about the outbreak as it escalated sharply.

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