Understanding China’s Growing Involvement in Global Health and Managing Processes of Change

Recent years have seen a rapid change in China’s global engagement and a recognition that solving global challenges will need to take the changing role of China into account. The paper discusses China’s growing involvement in global health. Health is an area where there is broad agreement over global priorities and, potentially, a fertile space to build new forms of collaboration that point the way towards the adaptation of global governance to a rapidly changing context. Drawing on previous analyses of China’s management of change in its domestic health reforms and interviews with a range of stakeholders in China, the UK and Switzerland, the paper argues that China’s engagement in global health is developing and diversifying rapidly in response to the central government’s desire to see a greater role for China in global health. This diversification is part of a pattern of change management familiar from China’s domestic reform experience. Explorations underway by a range of Chinese agencies form part of a process of rapid experimentation and experiential learning that are informing China’s search for (a) new global role(s). China is undergoing rapid institutional innovation and developing capacity for greater global engagement, including in health; however, substantial, recent leadership commitments make clear Chinese agencies’ need for continued exploration, innovation and rapid learning. How China engages globally is of significance to the world, not just China.

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© The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Husain, L. and Bloom, G. (2020) 'Understanding China's Growing Involvement in Global Health and Managing Processes of Change', Globalization and Health 16.39: 1-10

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