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Political Reform

China's Response to SARS

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

A month after severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) moved from a medical crisis—albeit one unacknowledged as such by the Chinese authorities—to a political crisis, it has become apparent that the disease will have a significant impact on China's political system, though one that is likely to be long-term rather than immediate. Although some have argued that SARS will be "China's Chernobyl," leading to far-reaching political change and perhaps democratization, others have maintained that the political system will simply absorb the impact and not change. Both judgments appear wide of the mark. Much more likely is that SARS will set off a variety of forces which the government will try to control, but which are going to be increasingly difficult to contain. It is still too early to draw strong conclusions about the impact of the SARS crisis, but some tentative conjectures about both elite politics and the longer-range implications can be hazarded.

Foreign Policy

PRC Foreign Relations after the National People's Congress: Iraq, North Korea, SARS, and Taiwan

by Thomas Christensenvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The National People's Congress (NPC) in mid-March produced all the major leadership outcomes predicted by experts on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) personnel issues: Hu Jintao, of course, became president of the People's Republic of China (PRC); Jiang Zemin maintained his powerful position as chair of the Central Military Commission (CMC); and, as long anticipated, Li Zhaoxing replaced Tang Jiaxuan as foreign minister. Tang was promoted to replace Qian Qichen in the role of party overseer of Chinese foreign policy, while trade negotiator Wu Yi will handle the trade portfolio and advise Tang. This lineup is exactly what was predicted by my interlocutors in Beijing in January. Although the NPC followed predicted paths, this outcome does not mean the event was unimportant to PRC foreign policy. On the contrary, China's behavior on the international stage has changed significantly since the NPC on two key issues for U.S.-China relations and China's role in the region: North Korea and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Although neither problem is close to being solved permanently, China adopted an about-face on both issues in the weeks after the NPC ended and the U.S.-led war in Iraq began. The military overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad and the passing of the NPC were, arguably, the two most important determinants of the new trends. Relations with Taiwan have been affected by Iraq, North Korea, SARS, and electoral politics in Taipei. Release of the anticipated "assessment" of cross-Strait relations—allegedly a road map for how to pursue gradually the development of direct air, shipping, and communications links (the "three links") across the Taiwan Strait—has been delayed by some combination of international and domestic factors relating to the March 2004 Taiwan presidential elections (for discussion of the assessment, see my entry in CLM 6).

Diagnosis: Critical

by Scott W. Atlasvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

How can we fix the nation’s health care system? By giving it a dose of the free market. By Scott W. Atlas.

Medical Myths about Money

by Philip R. Alpervia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

In this era of managed care, doctors are under constant pressure to cut corners to appease insurance providers. The result? Patients often suffer. By Hoover fellow Philip R. Alper.

How Government Stunted an Industry

by Henry I. Millervia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 30, 2002

As it turns 20, how healthy is the biopharmaceutical industry? That depends on how you define “healthy.” By Hoover fellow Henry I. Miller.

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Federalize Vaccine Production? We’d Be Taking a Shot in the Dark

by Henry I. Miller, Sam Kazmanvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Since the anthrax scare last fall, there have been calls for the federal government to set up a National Vaccine Authority. Hoover fellow Henry I. Miller and Sam Kazman explain why that would be a mistake—with deadly consequences.

The Doctor-Patient Breakdown

by Philip R. Alpervia Policy Review
Monday, April 1, 2002

Trouble at the core of the medical economy

What the Anthrax Attacks Should Teach Us

by Jonathan B. Tuckervia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Until recently a largely hypothetical threat, bioterrorism has now become a harsh reality. Jonathan B. Tucker explains how the American health system must respond.

The New Normalcy

by Henry I. Miller, Sherri Ferrisvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Learning how to live in a newly dangerous world. By Hoover fellow Henry I. Miller and Sherri Ferris.

Medicine's Race Problem

by Sally Satelvia Policy Review
Saturday, December 1, 2001

Sometimes racial information can help in treatment

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Health Care Policy Working Group


The Working Group on Health Care Policy devises public policies that enable more Americans to get better value for their health care dollar and foster appropriate innovations that will extend and improve life.