Global Health Policy: Perspectives from the EU and China

The COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a global health crisis the world has not witnessed within a century – since the “Spanish Flue” pandemic of 1919. Unlike 1919, when many governments were still busy dealing with the aftermaths of World War I, the COVID-19 pandemic was met with considerable counter-measures across the world.

Though almost all countries took measures against the spread of COVID-19, approaches, strategies and successes were distributed unevenly: Most East Asian countries, notably China, followed a strict “Zero Covid” strategy with severe lockdowns, border closures and a quick comeback of relative normality. European countries, in contrast, were hesitant to enact such measures and adapted their policies according to the numbers of infections, trying to “live with Covid” while providing a massive vaccine rollout.

From the distribution of protective equipment to the development and distribution of vaccines, COVID-19 has underlined the necessity for international cooperation and coordination in the fight against global health crises. The likelihood for those is increasing in the context of climate change, globalisation and the encroachment of humanity into previously untouched natural habitats of various species. The question is not if such a global health crisis will occur again, but only when.

In order to take stock of anti-pandemic policies so far, compare different approaches and identify best practices, the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation’s office Shanghai has invited two scholars from both the EU and China to present the European and Chinese approaches to Global Health policies.

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