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Turning Points: How the Coronavirus Threatens Xi Jinping

Chinese provincial officials, a surprisingly independent bunch given the country’s top-down governance model, have always lived by the adage: “The mountains are high, and the emperor is far away.” Indeed, by the time the modern emperor discovered the true extent of the coronavirus now sweeping through central China, it was too late.

Already, the disease has spread beyond China to Singapore, Japan and the U.S., half a world away from the now-closed Wuhan market where wildlife delicacies like wolf cubs, bats and snakes could be had. It is here where the virus may have jumped from snakes to humans