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China penalizes 400 local officials as public ire mounts

Party acknowledges missteps in handling coronavirus

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, center, speaks to medical workers during a visit to a hospital in Wuhan on Jan. 27.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- The Chinese Communist Party has acknowledged "shortcomings" in the response to the coronavirus and has punished hundreds of local officials in a bid to defuse public anger toward the party for failing to nip the outbreak in the bud.

The Politburo Standing Committee, China's top decision-making body, concluded in a meeting Monday that the nation's emergency management system must be improved, Xinhua reported.

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