This map is an approximation of actual country borders.

Since economic reforms were launched in the late 1970s, China’s rapid economic growth has helped lift several hundred million people out of poverty, and led to a higher standard of living and improved health outcomes throughout the country. China’s fast changing country context is now characterized by rapid industrialization, massive internal migration and urbanization, increasing environmental health threats, rising disparities and an aging population. With a highly diverse population of over 1.3 billion people spread over a vast land area including remote and hard-to-reach mountainous regions, China faces a variety of health and development challenges.

China, one of the founders of WHO, participated in the International Health Conference in 1946, which resutled in the drafting of the WHO constitution, turning over the functions of the Office International d'Hygiene Publique (OIHP) to WHO and setting up of an Interim Commision to prepare for the First WOrld Health Assembly. It joined the WHO on 22 July 1946. China attended the First World Health Assembly to constitute WHO. The Third World Health Assembly adopted a resolution in which it resolved “that the resumption by China of full participation in the work of the Organization will be welcomed.” From the second session in September 1951 until the twenty-second session in 1971, China was represented at the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific by China (Taiwan). At the Twenty-fifth World Health Assembly, it was declared that, “with effect from 10 May 1972, the People’s Republic of China should represent China at the Organization”. Since the Twenty–fourth session of the Regional Committee in 1973, China was represented at the Regional Committee meetings by the People’s Republic of China.

There was initially a WHO Country Liaison Office in Taipei, China (Taiwan). In 1959, the WHO Representative Office based in Taipei, China (Taiwan) was established to cover China (Taiwan), Hong Kong, Macao, Japan, Korea and the United States Trust Territories (Guam and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and Ryukyu Island). After its closure in 30 June 1972, the WHO Representative Office in Beijing, China (the People's Republic of China) was established in 1981 to cover China.

O'LEARY, DR Michael

The WHO Representative in the People's Republic of China : Schwartlander, Dr Bernhard

WHO Country Office

Office address:

World Health Organization 401, Dongwai Diplomatic Office Building 23, Dongzhimenwai Dajie Chaoyang District 100600 Beijing China

Telephone number:

(8610) 6532-7189
(8610) 6532-7190
(8610) 6532-7191
(8610) 6532-7192

Fax number:

(8610) 6532-2359

Office hours:

08.00 - 12.00 13.00 - 17.00 (Monday to Friday)



Ministry of Health


1, Xi Zhi Men Wai Nan Lu Beijing, PR China 100044



Additional information



Population (in thousands) ( 2010 ) 1400000
Population aged 5-14 years (%) ( 2009 ) 11.71
Life expectancy at birth (years) ( 2010 ) 73.5
Under-five mortality rate (per 1000 live births) ( 2009 ) 17.2
Total health expenditure as % of GDP ( 2009 ) 5.15
General government health expenditure as % of total government expenditure ( 2009 ) 6.31
Human development index ( 2010 ) 0.663
Per capita GDP at current market prices (US$) ( 2009 ) 3677
Population below national poverty line (%) ( 2006 ) 2.8
Literacy rate among adults aged >= 15 years (%) ( 2009 ) 92.9
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) ( 2009 ) 31.9
Proportion of the population using improved drinking water source ( 2008 ) 89
Population using improved sanitation facilities (%) ( 2008 ) 55