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China's rush to quell Beijing outbreak underscores political stakes

Xi leadership grapples with cluster of new coronavirus infections tied to food market

The Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing was locked down Saturday, after suspicions arose about a cluster of coronavirus cases apparently linked to the facility.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Public security vehicles packed the area around the largest wholesale fresh food market in Beijing on Monday morning, an area seen as the source of a fresh cluster of coronavirus cases.

Stationed at the entrance to the shuttered Xinfadi market were members of the People's Armed Police, a paramilitary unit charged with maintaining public order. The presence of these troops, who are responsible for guarding locations such as Tiananmen Square, signals China's alarm at the possibility of a politically destabilizing second wave of infections in the capital.

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