"At the height of the Sars epidemic and the bird flu threat, China covered up what was happening not only from the outside world but from its own hapless citizens. The Government's instinctive reaction was to censor anything that might reflect badly upon it or the country. Pride demanded as much. Contrast that with the aftermath of the earthquake: an open-door policy to the Western media and a steady stream of uncensored information to the Chinese people."
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