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The disaster and emergency management system in China

Source(s):  Chinese University of Hong Kong, the
Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC)

This policy brief outlines the emergency management system of the Chinese government; analysing its strengths and weaknesses, and recommends options for improvement. It discusses the “One Planning Plus Three Systems” Framework, namely the Emergency Response Plan, Emergency Legislation System, Emergency Institutional System and the Emergency Regulatory System.

These comprehensive systems and contingency plans would lead to an integrated response during emergencies. However, most of the plans focus on emergency response upon an event, rather than pre-disaster preparedness and post-disaster recovery. The authors recommend setting up a department to coordinate work within the government during all phases of the disaster management cycle. It is also recommendeds the establishment of a set of unified information standards and an emergency terminological system and to develop and disseminate risk communication guidelines to improve the overall risk communication system. Acknowledgment and engagement of relevant stakeholders by clearly assigning defined functions in contingency planning can enhance community participation to build up community resilience.

The SARS epidemic in 2003 was the trigger leading to a reform of China’s emergency management system. In 2007, the Chinese government adopted and enacted the “Emergency Response Law of the People's Republic of China”. The purpose of this law is to prevent and reduce the occurrence of emergencies; control, mitigate and eliminate the serious social harm caused by emergencies; regulate activities in response to emergencies; protect the lives and property of the people; and maintain national security, public security, environmental safety and public order. Following the restructuring of the emergency management system, the public health emergency management system has consequently undergone a significant change.



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  • The disaster and emergency management system in China
  • Publication date 2016
  • Author(s) Wang, Zhe; Chan, Emily Y.Y.; Liu, Kevin Sida; Yeung, May P.S.
  • Number of pages 12 p.

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