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With lightning speed, China has constructed hospitals in Wuhan, but President Xi Jinping will face a mountain of issues going forward. (Nikkei Montage/ Source photo by Kyodo and AFP/ Jiji) 
China up close

Party's half-baked admission misses Xi's biggest problem

Leader's call for 'top-down' governance conflicts with Wuhan officials' need for freedom

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- If you fold a map of China into four, what appears in its center is Wuhan -- the capital of Hubei Province, a city with a population similar to Tokyo's and the epicenter of the recent coronavirus outbreak.

Former leader Mao Zedong liked to visit Wuhan and stroll along the picturesque East Lake. He did so in 1965, when the Sword of Goujian, an archaeological artifact of the Spring and Autumn period (771-403 BC), was found, intact, with an almost untarnished blade.

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