Dilemma between Economic Incentives and the Public Provision of Welfare: SER Trade-offs in China’s economic development and its healthcare reforms, 1979~2022


China experienced drastic economic development over the past decades, beginning with its Open-Door policy in the 1980s which led to its entrance into the world capitalist liberal trade economy. Throughout the process, both the public and private sectors underwent substantial structural reforms and transformations which led to changes in the citizens’ lives in relation to their access to social welfare and services. As a country that has ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), China’s healthcare system will be examined in this paper under the extent to which it has fulfilled the state’s obligations discussed by the ICESCR regarding the principles of substantive equality and non-discrimination. A comparison will be made between rural and urban areas’ healthcare provisions, and the population of rural migrant workers who work in urban areas will be of special concern.