Business / Economy

Timeline of govt's goals and achievements

By Li Yang ( Updated: 2015-12-31 09:47

A priority on the to-do list of the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang has been to improve people's livelihood, social fairness and justice, since the new leadership took the wheels in late 2012.

They have pledged to create new social institutions, ensure equitable access to basic public series and form effective social governance system, so as to promote the society's vitality, harmony and order, which constitute a solid foundation for economic restructuring and good governance.

The government has implemented a series of new social policies in the past three years to adapt its governance to challenges arising from a widening income gap, a fast aging population, a split society between the urban and rural, as well as more than 70 million people still living with less than $1.25 a day, etc.

Most of the policies have proved effective in addressing the issues they were designed to solve. Yet, to fulfill the government's promise of building a well-off society in 2020, when the people's income will double from the level of 2010, all nationals are covered by basic social security net, and poverty is eliminated, many of the current social policies still need adjustments. And more social reforms are inevitable in the future.

In spite of this, what Xi and Li have done in social reform and governance so far points to a right direction of the journey.

The following is a timeline of the new social policies, or the authority's new discourses on social reforms, which in most cases are followed by corresponding new practices, in China in the past three years.

"The population above 60 years of age by 2012 was 194 million, and will reach 243 million in 2020, and 300 million in 2025. The government should actively respond to the needs of a fast aging society, expedite the development of nursing industry and meet the increasing demands of the senior citizens. This is an urgent task that not only protects the senior citizens' interests and rights, but also can promote consumption and create jobs."

-- Opinions on expediting the development of nursing industry for senior citizens, issued by the State Council, Sept 13, 2013

"Urbanization should ensure farmers' equal chances of participating into the country's modernization, and enjoying its fruits. The government should promote modern agriculture and equal changes of factors between city and village, protect farmers' property rights, and fairly distribute public resources."

-- Communiqué of the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of Communist Party of China, Nov 12, 2013

"Completely lifting household registration controls in small cities and towns, lifting the control on medium scale cities step by step and setting up household registration requirements in big cities to transform migrant workers to urban residents in an orderly way … Allowing the couple with either side as a single child of his or her family to have the second child."

-- CPC Central Committee's decisions on important issues in deepening reforms, passed by the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of Communist Party of China, Nov 15, 2013

All qualified residents can buy the pension insurance on a voluntary basis. The insurance fund consists of personal payment, subsidies from the village collective and the government.

-- Opinions on building a unified basic pension insurance system for residents in urban and rural regions, issued by the State Council, Feb 26, 2014

"The government should concentrate limited resources on exactly the really needy poverty-stricken families, help them find sustainable ways to increase income according to their practical conditions, and cover them in the basic public service net … The result of the poverty alleviation work is an important reference to judge local governors' performance, who should take the main responsibility for failing of eliminating poverty by 2020."

-- Notice on making plan for precise poverty-alleviation work, issued by the State Council, May 12, 2014

"The capable cities should turn the migrant workers, who have stable jobs and live there for long time, to citizens in orderly manners, and cover all residents with basic public services … About 100 million farmers should become permanent residents in cities by 2020."

-- Opinions on deepening of household registration system reform, issued by the State Council, July 24, 2014

"That all social powers should join their hands in poverty alleviation project is not only an experience but also a characteristic of China's poverty alleviation work. The private enterprises, social organizations and individuals should take part in poverty alleviation and development through various means. The government should create all possible means and institutions to help them to do so."

-- Opinions on motivating all social powers to participate into poverty alleviation, issued by the State Council, Dec 4, 2014

"The 40 million children living in poverty-stricken regions should enjoy the national average level of education and health care services by 2020. Preventing poverty from being passed from generation to generation is the government's responsibility and an important aspect of its public service."

-- Children development plan in poverty-stricken regions (2014-20), issued by the State Council, Dec 25, 2014

"Apart from people living on basic allowance, the senior citizens, juveniles, the severely physically challenged people and patients of severe illnesses should also be included as targets for the government's medical assistance program, so as to avoid their families from plunging into dire poverty because of illness."

-- Opinions on improving medical assistance to patients of severe diseases, issued by the State Council, Apr 21, 2015

"Increasing supplies of public services should primarily start from the interest issues that the people concern most. The central authority should tilt more fund and resources to help develop the former revolutionary bases, ethnic minority regions, border regions and poverty-stricken areas, and care for the poor population, left-behind children, women and senior farmers in the rural regions … The government should universalize high school education, and exempt fees of middle-level vocational education and high school education for students from poor families, and cover all needy students with student loans or scholarship … Allowing all couples to have their second child is a necessary step to respond to the challenges posed by a fast aging population. The government should continuously adjust its population policies according to the changes of practical conditions."

-- Communiqué of the 5th Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of Communist Party of China, Oct 29, 2015

The government should expand its effective supplies in supporting precise poverty alleviation, innovation in technology and finance, development of modern agriculture, cultivating professional talents, and construction of agricultural infrastructure.

-- Statement of the central economic work conference, Dec 21, 2015

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