Bard News & Events

Press Release

XUEJIN ZUO, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE SHANGHAI ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, WILL SPEAK AT BARD COLLEGE September 14th talk focuses on "The Reform of China's Social Security System During its Transition: Past Experiences and Future Challenges"

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.- On Friday, September 14, at 11:30 a.m. in Room 115 of the Olin Language Center, Xuejin Zuo, the vice president and senior fellow of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, will speak at Bard College. He will address many serious problems that face China in his talk "The Reform of China's Social Security System During its Transition: Past Experiences and Future Challenges." Routine healthcare issues in China are being taxed by what is now seen as a possible AIDS epidemic-both from needle reuse in standard medical procedures and needle sharing among drug users-according to several front page stories in the New York Times by Elisabeth Rosenthal. In her August 24th article, "China Now Facing an AIDS Epidemic, a Top Aide Admits," Rosenthal notes that a "recent United Nations report estimated that already 'above one million' Chinese had H.I.V. at the start of 2001, and that if current trends continue there could be 20 million by the end of 2010."

Robert Martin, Bard's vice president for Academic Affairs, and Sanjaya DeSilva, assistant professor of economics, have invited Professor Zuo to visit the College, where his Shanghai Academy colleague, Quiyu Tu, is a Fulbright Program "Scholar in Residence" and visiting associate professor of economics. Martin, DeSilva, and Tu will introduce Professor Zuo. The program is free and open to the public and is presented by Bard in China and the Economics and Asian Studies Programs at Bard College.

"My talk will focus on the challenges facing the public pension and public health insurance programs in China," says Professor Zuo. He notes that many of the challenges facing China-which had a 1.3-billion population in 2000 and has an average growth rate of only 1.2% after 20 years of implementation of the Family Plan and "One Child" policy-have to do with its growing proportion of elderly citizens. This aging population is beginning to impact China's public pension, health care, and other social security programs. Also, the economic transition that has intensified competition among enterprises has also eroded the financial basis of the old social security system, in which state-owned enterprises were the primary providers of pension, health care, and other social security benefits.

Xuejin Zuo, who is the also the director of the Institute of Economics of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pittsburgh. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University's Office of Population Research. His publications include "Health Insurance Reform in China: the Role of the Government and the Market," "China's Public Pension Program Facing Population Aging: Challenges and Policy Alternatives," and "China's Rural and Urban Employment in the Reform Era: Recent Trends and Policy Issues" in The Changing Population of China. Zuo is the vice president of the China Population Association, the president of the Shanghai Econometrics Society, a member of the Standing Committee of the People's Political Consultative Council of the Shanghai Municipality. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for Policy Making of the municipal government of Shanghai.

Bard in China is a program that has been established to enhance learning from and about China through events and exchanges. For further information about the program, call 845-758-7388 or e-mail

# # #


back to top

This event was last updated on 09-06-2001