January China Seminar

China Seminar | Thursday, January 12, 2023

China: The Next Phase of the Global COVID Pandemic

Dr. Tim Brown
Senior Fellow, East-West Center

Speaker’s summary:

China, where the initial zoonotic transfer occurred that launched the COVID pandemic, held the beast at bay for three years with increasingly aggressive efforts to maintain zero COVID. However, ultimately, evolution won out and the virus became so transmissible that such efforts were ultimately doomed to failure. Early indications of this had been seen in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong, places that also held it at bay for a time. This talk will review the current approach to COVID being taken in China and explore how it differs from the approaches taken in those other places. It will also explore the likely consequences of this uncontrolled spread and its potential implications for the global pandemic.

Dr. Tim Brown is a Senior Fellow in the Research Program at the East-West Center and heads the Center’s HIV modeling team, which produces the tools used by national HIV programs and modeling teams throughout Asia. His primary focus is on infectious disease modeling and its applications to public policy. He currently works with UNAIDS, Global Fund, Avenir Health, and other global and national partners to develop HIV estimation and projection tools and methodologies for countries, apply these to comprehensive policy analyses of HIV epidemics and effective responses to them, and support the development of improved strategic information systems in Asia and the Pacific. Like many working in HIV, Dr. Brown has been drawn into efforts to respond to the COVID pandemic in the last two and a half years. In a previous incarnation, he obtained his Ph.D. in High Energy Theoretical Physics from the University of Hawaiʻi.


The China Seminar was established by Dr. Daniel W.Y. Kwok in 1977. Under his guidance, it became a signature program of the Friends of the East-West Center (FEWC) in 2009. The program provides an informal venue for China experts, such as scholars, diplomats, and journalists, to present talks on aspects of China that interest the community and members of the Friends.