Abstract：During his visit to Uzbekistan in 2016, Xi Jinping proposed the Health Silk Road initiative. The unanticipated COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 made the construction of a Health Silk Road more pressing. Researches on this initiative, however, are currently confined to the government level, little done by academics. Few studies that have been carried out are either from a single particular perspective or based on a certain region, lacking academic and theoretical findings. Therefore, by drawing on the social movement theory, this study attempts to explore a “government-society” complex approach to analyze the construction of the Health Silk Road. Distinct from the single bottom-up development style of the social movement theory, but a process integrating the top-down government with the bottom-up society, this complex approach deals with three different relationships between a government and other governments, between a society and other societies, and between a government and other societies. It is a theoretical and practical approach of interaction between government and society, which is reflected in the synergy and mutual influence of the two forces. Although the Health Silk Road discussed in this study centers on transnational government-to-government and society-to-society cooperation and interaction, and differs somewhat from the traditional social movement theory style, it can still be framed under the three perspectives of the theory. First, the cross-border spread of COVID-19 has exposed the serious deficiencies of the current global public health governance system, as neither international organizations at the governmental level, nor health care institutions at the social level, nor people in various countries can meet the needs of pandemic prevention and control or cope with the threat alone. Current international health cooperation is in urgent need of a new and complementary initiative or mechanism. Partnering with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Health Silk Road has some unique advantages, thanks to the rich experience accumulated through the Sino-Japan-Korea cooperation model in combating the pandemic. Second, further promotion of the initiative requires a joint mobilization of the human, material, organizational and cultural resources in countries along the Belt and Road, with an aim to form complementary strengths and facilitate resource sharing. This calls for collaboration among governments and societies, as well as integration of resources based on resource distribution of the B&R countries, which will serve as a solid material foundation for the construction of the Health Silk Road. Meanwhile, a sound health discourse system can also be achieved by advocating and advancing the concept of a “Community of Common Health for Mankind”. The process of people-to-people bond, by means of discourse and psychological resonance, will enable the Health Silk Road to turn into a program widely accepted and recognized by the involving countries, so as to speed up the establishment of a motivational framing. In addition, this study examines the future planning and deployment of the Health Silk Road. As an exploratory study, this paper aims at inspiring more academic and theoretical research and expediting the transformation of the initiative from a political concept into an academic one. In the long run, it is hoped that the construction of the Health Silk Road will lead to joint efforts by the international community to address the global public health crisis, effectively strengthen global health cooperation, and reshape and improve the order of global public health governance in a post-pandemic era.
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Zeng Xianghong Luo Jin. The Construction of the Health Silk Road: Based on a
“Government-Society” Complex Approach. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 0, (): 1-.