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Dr Stuart Gietel-Basten will collaborate China's National Health and Planning Commission to better understand the Chinese population and to shape the research agenda on this topic.

Image credit: Chinese National Day (Nanjing pedestrian street) by 2 dogs via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In this ESRC IAA Kick-starting Impact project, officials from China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), the state agency responsible for drafting laws and regulations for health and population matters, will collaborate with researchers from Oxford University under the direction of Dr Stuart Gietel-Basten.

As the second largest economy in the world, the socioeconomic future of China is connected with that of the rest of the world. Much of China’s recent rapid economic growth has been attributed to favourable demographics – a huge pool of cheap labour has allowed for the production of products at the so-called ‘China Price.’

But times are rapidly changing. China currently has one of the lowest fertility rates on earth. Coupled with increasing longevity, China is now one of the most rapidly ageing countries in the world. This translates into great uncertainty for the future of the Chinese growth model, and so developing a deeper understanding of demographic change in China could not be timelier.

Four officials from the NHFPC will visit Oxford to participate in workshops showcasing research on the Chinese population being undertaken across the University.  They will also take part in planning meetings with local collaborators, including researchers from the China Centre and the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, among others. Dr Gietel-Basten will then visit the NHFPC in China and, while there, they will develop a roadmap for future knowledge exchange activities.

This collaboration will provide Dr Gietel-Basten and other researchers with greater access to NHFPC survey data, which will enhance understanding of the Chinese population.  At the same time, in working with academics and researchers, the NHFPC will be able to develop its own data collection methodologies. Through greater levels of knowledge exchange, NHFPC officials will also have the opportunity to help shape the research agenda on this important topic.

It is hoped that by collaborating in this way this project will provide a new model of best practice in Chinese policymaking.

Dr Gietel-Basten is Associate Professor of Social Policy in the Oxford University’s Department of Social Policy and Intervention.  

This project was funded by Oxford's ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.