China’s Emerging Global Health and Foreign Aid Engagement

Xiaoqing Lu Boynton
Fellow, Freeman Chair in China Studies, CSIS

On May 24, CSIS co-hosted with the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) a conference on China’s emerging global health and foreign aid engagement. The conference was held at the CIIS office in Beijing. Commissioned experts from China and the United States presented their preliminary findings on various aspects of the two countries’ presence in Africa, including advantages and effects of U.S. and Chinese efforts in Africa, U.S. and Chinese responsibilities in promoting global health programs, and the Chinese government’s domestic decision-making process on aid in Africa, among other topics. The discussion focused primarily on developing a practical roadmap on U.S.-China-Africa trilateral collaboration.

Participants agreed that global health was one of the most promising areas for U.S.-China-Africa trilateral collaboration. Nevertheless, significant challenges exist. These include the lack of appropriate funding for trilateral ventures, human resources for trilateral initiatives, and a concrete and detailed action plan. Several key issues were identified as areas for potential global health collaboration – neglected tropical diseases, improving nutrition, and pandemic preparedness in Africa. Conference participants also offered constructive suggestions for future collaborative efforts, including the establishment of an oversight and review mechanism as well as metrics for success.

As a next step, the CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies and Global Health Policy Center will publish the six commissioned papers in the summer of 2011, with policy recommendations for Beijing and Washington on a roadmap for future collaboration. The report will be disseminated in policy communities in the United States and China. This project is part of a larger CSIS initiative analyzing how emerging economies are engaging on global health issues through diplomatic and bilateral assistance channels. CSIS plans to convene a conference in the fall with policy and opinion leaders from various partner organizations in the BRICS countries to build on current research and articulate recommendations for enhanced cooperation and coordination in the global health arena.

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