NEW DELHI: It’s anybody’s guess what the death toll in the Coronavirus outbreak in China will eventually be. It’s even less clear if the final number the authorities come up with is the true figure. But that’s the problem with Xi Jinping’s China. His security-driven approach to his countrymen may have impeded the flow of information, resulting to some degree, in the tragedy sweeping China. In Talking Point, leading China scholar Madhu Bhalla, and Jayadeva Ranade of the Centre for China Analysis & Strategy, offer nuanced viewpoints on the political and economic impact the Coronavirus could have. Xi’s low public profile until a few days ago, suggests a need to not be in the eye of the storm. But there is a storm raging on China’s social media with many calling for reform, freedom and curbs on the power of the Communist Party. Bhalla doubts if this could result in a premature end to Xi’s career, but Ranade suspects his ambition for a third term (and beyond) could be the casualty.
Thirty eight years in journalism, widely travelled, history buff with a preference for Old Monk Rum. Current interest/focus spans China, Technology and Trade. Recent reads: Steven Colls Directorate S and Alexander Frater's Chasing the Monsoon. Netflix/Prime video junkie. Loves animal videos on Facebook. Reluctant tweeter.