Domestic contestation, international backlash, and authoritarian resilience : how did the Chinese party-state weather the COVID-19 crisis?

Xiangfeng Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article aims to provide a first-cut analysis of the causes of the initial COVID-19 outbreak as well as the subsequent political contestations in which the masses ended up rallying behind the party-state. While the Wuhan fiasco had everything to do with entrenched pathologies of the bureaucratic state, after Beijing took central command of the broader campaign its overriding priority was to contain the virus with a goal toward salvaging its legitimacy at home. To that end, Beijing unleashed its warrior diplomats to aggressively defend its handling of the pandemic, even to the detriment of its international image. Nevertheless, the strategy worked because the nationalist and populist backlash against the regime’s foreign and domestic critics helped turn the public opinion around in its favor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-929
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Volume30
Issue number132
Early online date24 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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