On April 27th, Dr. Yanzhong Huang delivered a congressional testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC). Huang's testimony was part of a panel on Quality of Life Priorities as outlined in China's 13th Five-Year Plan and focused on themes of China's healthcare system and reforms, as well as opportunities for the U.S. to collaborate with the Chinese government as it fortifies its healthcare infrastructure.
"In 2013, China spent 5.6% of its GDP on healthcare, which accounted for only 3% of the global healthcare spending," said Huang in his written testimony. "In other words, China addresses healthcare needs of 22% of the world's population with only 3% of the world's healthcare resources."
Huang went on to discuss opportunities for the U.S. to collaborate with China on global health crises and to participate in public-private partnerships in Chinese research and development of pharmaceuticals. "U.S.-China cooperation in healthcare is not just about market opportunities," said Huang when discussing his policy recommendations. "It is also about how to improve health and well-being of the people in both countries." Huang is no stranger to Washington. The April session before the USCC marks Huang's fourth congressional testimony. Huang has previously provided commentary on public health issues in China and has even offered insight during classified meetings.
Though being chosen to provide a testimony is prestigious, the behind-the-scenes process it requires is not as glamorous as one might think. In addition to travel time, delivering a testimony requires submitting to a vetting process as well as extensive topic research, all within a short turnaround time. Despite the difficulty of preparing a testimony, Huang described the experience as important and worthwhile.
"I treat it as a service to the country," he said. "It's also a great opportunity to gain recognition for the School." The USCC is a dedicated legislative body tasked with the mandate to monitor, investigate, and submit to congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to congress for legislative and administrative action.
In addition to serving as a professor for the School of Diplomacy, Huang is a Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, and contributes regularly to Forbes. Huang specializes in subjects of health and Asia and has authored a book titled "Governing Health in Contemporary China" that looks at health care reform, government ability to address disease outbreaks, and food and drug safety in China.