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Public Health in Asia during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Global Health Governance, Migrant Labour, and International Health Crises

Every nation in Asia has dealt with COVID-19 differently and with varying levels of success in the absence of clear and effective leadership from the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, WHO’s role in Asia as a global health organization is coming under increasing pressure. As its credibility is slowly being eroded by public displays of incompetence and negligence, it has also become an arena of contestation. Moreover, while the pandemic continues to undermine the future of global health governance as a whole, the highly interdependent economies in Asia have exposed the speed with which pandemics can spread, as intensive regional travel and business connections have caused every area in the region to be hit hard. The migrant labour necessary to sustain globalized economies has been strained and the security of international workers is now more precarious than ever, as millions have been left stranded, seen their entry blocked, or have limited access to health services. This volume by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung's (KAS) Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS), Leiden Asia Centre, and the International Academic Forum provides an accessible framework for understanding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia, with a specific emphasis on global governance in health and labour.

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Table of Contents


COVID-19 and Asia by Anoma Phichai VAN DER VEERE, Florian SCHNEIDER, and Catherine Yuk-ping LO

PART I Health Policy in Asia and the Global Community
Fighting for a Global Community in a Post-COVID World by Haruko SATOH
Countering Emerging Infectious Diseases and COVID-19: The Development of ASEAN’s Institutional Arrangements and International Cooperation by Kei KOGA
The Outbreak of Infectious Disease and Trust in Government in Asian Countries by Yumi ISHIKAWA and Miki KOHARA

PART II The Future of Global Health Governance in Asia
China and the World Health Organization: Not an Easy Road for Either by Xue GONG and Xirui LI
South Korea and the WHO during the COVID-19 Crisis by Brendan HOWE
Escaping the ‘Realist Trap’: The ROC’s Participation in Global Health Governance Under the One-China Principle by Catherine Yuk-ping LO
From Pneumonia to Pragmatism: The Role of the WHO in Japan During Public Health Emergencies by Anoma P. VAN DER VEERE

PART III Domestic Responses to COVID-19 in a Globalized Asia
The COVID-19 Pandemic: Socio-Economic Issues, Health Care, Health Security and the Rapid Response in Vietnam by Anh Tuyet NGUYEN
The Coordination of COVID-19 Responses in Malaysia: Efforts and Challenges by Nurliana KAMARUDDIN and Zokhri IDRIS
Analysis of South Korea’s Experience with the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Relations with the WHO by Eun Mee KIM and Jisun SONG
State-Society Relations as Cooperative Partnership and the COVID-19 Response in Vietnam by Mirjam LE and Franziska NICOLAISEN

PART IV The Global Economy and Transnational Migrant Labour in Asia during COVID-19
The Coronavirus as the ‘Final Straw’ of the CCP’s Performative Legitimacy? A New Economic Model in the Post-COVID-19 Era by Catherine Yuk-ping LO
Health Governance during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Reflections on Taiwan’s Guest Worker Policy by Mei-Chun LIU
Public Health and Capitalism in Japan: The Impact of Labour Market Challenges and Welfare on Public Health by Saori SHIBATA
Indonesia’s Response to Global Recommendations on Labour Migration during a Pandemic: Muddling through Priorities and
Needs by Sylvia YAZID

List of Figures and Tables

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Cristita Marie Perez

Cristita Marie Perez KAS

Senior Programme Manager, Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS) +81 3 6426 5041


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