Health and Aging in Contemporary China

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Jason Powell

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Published: 23 April 2021 | Article Type :

Abstract

Researchers and policy makers from across the globe are increasingly concerned about the accelerating numbers of older people in their societies despite public health concerns about Covid-19. In the Xi Administration in 2021 in China, there are concerns about the inadequacy of pension funds, of growing pressures on health systems, and on the inability of shrinking numbers of younger people to carry the burden of older people. This article focuses on such health issues in China, where the origin of Covid-19 has been found and where older people have become a rapidly expanding proportion of the population. While resources do need to be targeted on the vulnerable older people, the presumption that older people as a whole are an economic and health burden must be questioned. This is arguably an ageist approach that needs to be combated by locating how bio-medical views on aging seep into health policy spaces in China that position negative perceptions of aging as both individual and populational problems. The article then moves to observe the implications of bio-medicine for older people in China in terms of “vulnerable” aging but deconstruct such “fixed” explanations by juxtaposing active aging as key narrative that epitomizes “declining to decline” as espoused by health sciences in a paradoxical public pandemic in an era defined by COVID-19.

Keywords: China; Aging; Health; COVID-19; Public Policy.

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Jason Powell. (2021-04-23). "Health and Aging in Contemporary China." *Volume 4*, 1, 20-29