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Critical Issues Confronting China Series featuring Yanzhong Huang – Is Zero Covid Crippling Xi Jinping’s Domestic Agenda?

October 5, 2022 @ 12:00 pm 1:15 pm

Read our blog post on the event: Is ‘Zero-COVID’ Crippling Xi Jinping’s Domestic Agenda? Five Unintended Consequences

Speaker: Yanzhong Huang, Professor and Director, Center for Global Health Studies, Seton Hall University

China’s zero-Covid policy, while shielding the country from Covid-19 and facilitating state control over society, also has compounded, even undermined its ability to cope with other domestic challenges by generating unintended, and often undesirable outcomes in Chinese society.  The downstream impacts or unintended consequences include but are not limited to: 1) economic slowdown and rising youth unemployment rate; 2) the reduced desires of young couples to form families and reproduce; 3) increased mental health issues; 4) ) growing non-communicable disease burden; and 5) setback for the healthcare reform. In the meantime, singled-minded pursuit of zero-Covid has stretched thin bureaucratic and fiscal capacity, highlighting and exacerbating the inadequacy of the state capacity in addressing the growing domestic challenges.   

Is ‘Zero-COVID’ Crippling Xi Jinping’s Domestic Agenda? Five Unintended Consequences

Event summary by Austin Jordan
“Is Zero Covid Crippling Xi Jinping’s Domestic Agenda?” poster

Dr. Yanzhong Huang joined the School of Diplomacy and International Relations in the fall of 2003. He directs the School’s Center for Global Health Studies, which examines global health issues from a foreign policy and security perspective. He is also a Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations and the founding editor of Global Health Governance: The Scholarly Journal for the New Health Security Paradigm.

He has written extensively on global health governance, health diplomacy, health security, public health in China and East Asia. He has published numerous reports, journal articles, and book chapters, including articles in Survival, Foreign Affairs, Bioterrorism and Biosecurity, and Journal of Contemporary China, as well as op-ed pieces appearing in New York Times, International Herald Tribune, The Diplomat, and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, among others. In 2006, he coauthored the first scholarly article that systematically examines China’s soft power. His book, Governing Health in Contemporary China, looks at the health care reform, government ability to address disease outbreaks, and food and drug safety in China. Most recently, he was listed by Inside Jersey magazine as one of New Jersey’s “20 exceptional intellects who are changing the world.” He is frequently consulted by major media outlets, the private sector, and governmental and non-governmental organizations on global health issues and China. He was a research associate of the National Asia Research Program, a public intellectuals fellow of the National Committee on US-China Relations, a visiting senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore and a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC.

Dr. Huang received his Ph.D. degree in political science from the University of Chicago. In summer 2006, he obtained a certificate from MIT’s Professional Program on Combating Bioterrorism and Pandemics. During 1992-1993, he was a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Chinese and American Studies, Nanjing, China.


CGIS South S020, Belfer Case Study Room

1730 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

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