© 2008

Providing Public Goods in Transitional China

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Tony Saich
    Pages 23-42
  3. Tony Saich
    Pages 71-101
  4. Tony Saich
    Pages 127-158
  5. Tony Saich
    Pages 159-183
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 209-236

About this book


China's leaders are confronted with building a new support system in the countryside, shifting the burden in urban China from the factory to the local state, and integrating new social groups into existing systems. This book comprises a detailed study of healthcare, disease control, social insurance and social relief.


China Civil society disease health poverty reform social insurance society state

About the authors

Tony Saich is the Daewoo professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Bibliographic information


"This comprehensive review of the progress in recasting China's provision of social welfare tackles a tough job. . .Saich does an admirable job; this volume (and its many tables) can be consulted as a mid-course resource on the topic for years to come." - Dorothy Solinger, The Journal of Asian Studies"Delivering social welfare service in an equitable and efficient way has emerged as a major challenge for the Chinese government. Prof. Saich, a leading scholar on Chinese social policy, has provided a fascinating analysis of the challenges and difficulties in reshaping a new social welfare delivery system in China where partnership among the government, market, and the civil society is essential. The analysis is both informed and enriched by the author s extensive research experience in China and the detailed case studies of health care, dealing with pandemics, social insurance and social assistance. It is a must read for anyone who is interested in contemporary Chinese social policy issues." - Xue Lan, Professor of Public Policy and Management and Executive Vice President, Development Research Academy for the 21st Century, Tsinghua University.

"The dark side of China s extraordinary growth has been the collapse of obsolete health and welfare systems. Are the Chinese people going to get adequate care? How do their leaders think about this? How do their efforts compare with other countries? What do the Chinese people think about the results? The answers are crucial to China s people, to China s stability, and ultimately to the world. Saich digs deeper, with broader perspective,and more objectively than any previous study. One small aspect, his charts on how Chinese people view the performance of their government, is alone worth the price of the book." -William H.Overholt, Director, RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy

"Although China's rapid growth has substantially reduced poverty and improved welfare, widening income disparities and worrisome inequities in access to public goods have spurred efforts by the central government to construct a 'harmonious society' with the help of a more inclusive and market oriented welfare system based on social citizenship. The existing decentralized and minimalist system, which is largely managed and financed by local authorities, is being displaced by a four legged arrangement in which the contributions of the state and the family will be increasingly supplemented by the market and by NGOs. This is a centerpiece of China's reform agenda and vital for sustaining growth with stability. This important book by a China expert of the first rank, lucidly reviews the development of China's welfare system and analyzes its complex dynamics with a special focus on health issues. By drawing upon a wealth of recent scholarship, his own first hand knowledge of the subject matter, and the findings of a wide ranging survey, Tony Saich provides a searching assessment of critical ongoing reforms, of how these are perceived by the public and of what they imply for the future roles of the state, of civil society and private suppliers of services." - Shahid Yusuf, Economic Advisor World Bank