News of a mysterious lung disease in Wuhan had been around for weeks. Chinese authorities had downplayed the risk before it was obvious that they had to start fighting the outbreak. The government countered with a propaganda push while continuing its offensive against the outbreak. Eventually the drastic measures paid off. In March, infection rates started declining. Schools reopened in many places – just as more and more countries were starting their own Covid crisis. State Television even showed Chinese officials handing over medical supplies to other countries threatened by the pandemic. With few new infections China has now engaged in a different fight: To define how its role in this epidemic will be remembered.
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