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“If You Are Angry, Stand Up”: Beijing Scrambles To Tamp Down Unrest As Furious Chinese Take To Social Media

“If You Are Angry, Stand Up”: Beijing Scrambles To Tamp Down Unrest As Furious Chinese Take To Social Media

Summary:

  • Fatalities in China reached a single-day high of 86 on Friday, raising the national death toll to 724
  • WHO reported 31,481 confirmed global cases on Friday, up by 3,000+ cases from Thursday; SCMP says total cases closer to 35k
  • First American citizen has died
  • First Japanese citizen suspected of succumbing to virus
  • France elevates travel advisory to orange after 5 Britons fall ill in ski resort
  • Roundup of suspected infected in Wuhan continues
  • Beijing appoints Xi protege to help lead virus response
  • Vigil for Dr. Li held in Hong Kong
  • China blocks Foxconn plan to reopen factories

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Update (1500ET): The NYT just published its latest critical piece about the Chinese government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. This one centers on President Xi’s decision to stay out of the limelight over the past two weeks, instead leaving the crisis to his No. 2, Premier Li Keqiang, who has been charged with leading the committee of senior officials tasked with overseeing the government response to the outbreak.

One academic quoted in the article explains that the government’s botched handling of the outbreak could be the biggest threat to Xi’s rule during his tenure so far, and that the changes he’s imposed on the Chinese constitution could make it difficult for Xi to avoid blame.

“It’s a big shock to the legitimacy of the ruling party. I think it could be only second to the June 4 incident of 1989. It’s that big,” said Rong Jian, a writer about politics in Beijing, referring to the armed crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters that year.

“There’s no doubt about his control over power,” he added, “but the manner of control and its consequences have hurt his legitimacy and reputation.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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