Severe acute respiratory syndrome 2003. Pneumonic plague 2009. Coronavirus 2020. Avian flu just about every other year. Why does it seem like the next virus apocalypse is always coming from China?
Compared with other developing countries, China has a highly effective public health service. It has world-class epidemiological laboratories. Its ruling Communist Party, though deeply authoritarian, is widely admired for its supposedly meritocratic management ethic. And the Chinese state is probably unique in the world in its ability to completely lock down and isolate a city of 10 million people like Wuhan.
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