How China handles crises like coronavirus

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The outbreak of a mysterious new coronavirus in Wuhan, China has already infected hundreds of people, killed dozens, and is raising fears of a global epidemic. 

The coronavirus outbreak shares striking similarities with another recent crisis that Quartz reported on in our Because China video series for members. In 2019, a fatal pig virus called African Swine Fever (ASF) spread widely across the country within months, killing millions of hogs and causing a long-lasting disruption to the global meat market. We learn in this episode that the sheer scale of the ASF crisis can be blamed, at least partially, on China’s bureaucratic system and the misalignment between local and central government incentives. This insight is important for understanding China’s response to the new coronavirus. 

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