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China's new COVID surge is Xi's biggest test yet

How Beijing responds will signal its readiness to be a global stakeholder

| China
A medical worker takes swab samples during a mass COVID-19 test in Wuhan on Aug. 5: the rest of the world will not be so forgiving if China's main export is another new variant.   © FeatureChina/AP

William Pesek is an award-winning Tokyo-based journalist and author of "Japanization: What the World Can Learn from Japan's Lost Decades."

China botched the first wave of COVID-19. First, it failed to warn the world what was coming. Next, it got defensive. Then Beijing circled the wagons in ways that wrecked the soft power its rapid growth and spending around the world had amassed.

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