The Rise and Fall of Zero-Covid: A Conversation with Yanzhong Huang

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In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Yanzhong Huang to discuss the impact of China’s Zero-Covid policy and how reopening has affected the country. He explains that China’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic evolved over three phases, the most recent of which occurred in December 2022 with the end of strict controls. Dr. Huang argues that mounting social and economic pressure pushed the Chinese government to make a dramatic policy shift without warning. Lastly, he examines how the end of Zero-Covid could contribute to China’s economic recovery, but could also undermine the public’s confidence in Chinese leadership. 

Dr. Yanzhong Huang is a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he directs the Global Health Governance roundtable series. He is also a professor and director of global health studies at Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy and International Relations, where he developed the first academic concentration among U.S. professional international affairs schools that explicitly addresses the security and foreign policy aspects of health issues.


Bonny Lin
Director, China Power Project and Senior Fellow, Asian Security