Report on the Work of the Government [full text]

Updated: 2007-03-17 13:03

IV. Promoting the Building of a Harmonious Socialist Society

Social harmony and stability as well as a better life are the aspirations of all the people and an important goal for the work of the government. This year, we must conscientiously follow the guiding principles set out at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Sixteenth CPC Central Committee, adopt more effective measures and make major strides in building a harmonious socialist society.

1. We will accelerate development of education, health care, culture, sports and other social programs.

Education is the bedrock of China's development, and fairness in education is an important form of social fairness. We need to make education a strategic priority and accelerate the development of all types of education at all levels. The overall goal is to expand the availability of compulsory education and consolidate progress already made, accelerate the development of vocational education and strive to improve the quality of higher education. This year, we will completely stop collecting tuition and miscellaneous fees from all rural students receiving compulsory education. This will ease the financial burden of 150 million rural households with children attending primary and middle schools. We will continue to provide free textbooks for poor rural students receiving compulsory education and living allowances for those staying in dormitories. We will improve the mechanism for ensuring continuing funding for rural compulsory education. This year's government allocations for rural compulsory education total 223.5 billion yuan, up 39.5 billion yuan from last year. During implementation of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, 10 billion yuan will be allocated from the central government budget to upgrade rural junior middle school facilities. Local governments should also make corresponding increases in funding in this area. In addition, we will continue working to solve the problems that students from poor urban families and children of rural migrant workers in cities have in receiving compulsory education. This year, we will ensure that the plan to make nine-year compulsory education generally available and basically eliminate illiteracy among young and middle-aged adults in the western region and the modern rural primary and middle school distance education project achieve their final objectives. We will work to ensure that all children are able to afford and attend school. We are definitely capable of reaching this goal. We need to attach more importance to developing vocational education, which is a major reform and historic task to truly make education available to all members of society. The focus of this effort will be on developing secondary vocational education and strengthening the vocational education and training network for urban and rural areas. We will deepen reform of the management of vocational education by setting up a mechanism that combines the participation of industry, enterprises and schools and promoting models of school operation that integrate work and study and enhance cooperation between schools and enterprises. We will accelerate reform of education and teaching in higher education with the focus on improving quality, keep the scale of enrollment relatively stable, increase efforts to develop leading disciplines and universities, make innovations in the model for producing capable personnel and improve the mix of capable personnel being produced in order to produce large numbers of outstanding personnel. We will support and standardize the development of non-publicly funded schools and improve conditions for non-government entities to run schools.

We are adopting two major measures to promote development of education and fairness in education.

One, a system of national scholarships and tuition assistance will go into operation this school year for regular undergraduate institutions, vocational colleges and secondary vocational schools. Funds appropriated for this purpose by the central government will be increased from the 1.8 billion yuan of last year to 9.5 billion yuan this year and 20 billion yuan next year, and local governments should allocate corresponding amounts. We will also further implement the state student loan policy to enable children from families with financial difficulties to attend college or receive vocational education. This is another major move we are taking to promote fairness in education following on the exemption of all tuition and miscellaneous fees for rural compulsory education students.

Two, we will institute free education for students majoring in education in teacher colleges directly under the Ministry of Education and set up a corresponding system. This measure is designed to demonstrate to the general public the importance of the teaching field, to create an atmosphere of respect for teachers and education in society, to increase awareness of the value of the education profession throughout society, to produce large numbers of outstanding teachers, and to encourage prominent educators to run schools and more outstanding young people to become lifelong educators.

We will continue to carry out the strategy of making China stronger by producing more outstanding personnel. We will speed up efforts to train all types of personnel, focusing on the training of high-level, highly capable personnel and strive to turn out a number of leaders in independent innovation and young and middle-aged high-level experts. We will accelerate reform of the personnel system to promote an appropriate amount of movement of personnel. We will encourage Chinese students studying overseas to return home upon completion of study to work and serve the country, and employ more high-level specialists from overseas. We will work to foster an environment of respect for labor, for knowledge, for ability and for creativity throughout society.

We will accelerate reform and development of public health programs. We will focus on four areas this year in our work to develop a system of primary health care services for both urban and rural residents.

One is to energetically promote the new type of rural cooperative medical care system. The trial area will be expanded to cover over 80% of all counties, county-level cities and city districts in China. Areas possessing the proper conditions may expand the trial faster than others. Allocations from the central government budget to subsidize this trial total 10.1 billion yuan, a 5.8 billion yuan year-on-year increase. We will carry out the program to establish and develop a rural health care service system and improve the three-tier rural health care service network at the county, township and village levels so that the government can set up a health clinic in every town and township. We will employ various steps to support the setting up of a health clinic in every incorporated village, create a rural medicine supply network and oversight network and step up the training of rural health care service workers in order to ensure that rural residents have access to safe, effective, convenient, and reasonably priced medical and health care services.

Two is to accelerate the establishment of a new type of urban health care service system based on community facilities. We will improve the distribution of urban medical and health resources, focusing on developing community health care services and implementing measures for ensuring funding for them to make it more convenient for people to prevent and receive treatment for diseases. Appropriate allocations will be made from the central government budget to support these efforts in the central and western regions.

Three is to launch the trial of basic medical insurance for urban residents that mainly covers major illnesses, with the government providing necessary assistance to the poverty-stricken population.

Four is to do a good job in work related to prevention and treatment of major communicable diseases. This year, we will expand coverage of the state immunization plan to include 15 communicable diseases that can be effectively prevented through vaccination, including hepatitis A and epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis. On the basis of free treatment for communicable diseases such as AIDS and snail fever, we will expand the scope of diseases subject to free treatment. To fund this work, 2.8 billion yuan has been allocated in the central government budget. This will have great significance for our efforts to ensure the health of the people and raise their overall level of health. We will strengthen prevention and treatment of occupational and endemic diseases. We will strongly support development of traditional Chinese medicine and the folk medicine of ethnic minorities and give full play to their important role in preventing and treating illnesses. In order to better promote reform and development of health programs, the State Council has begun formulating a plan for deepening the reform of the medicine and medical and health care systems in order to resolve the difficulty of obtaining medical service, an issue of common concern.

We will comprehensively address the issue of population and continue to follow the current policy on birth control. We will keep the birthrate low, raise the quality of newborns and take a full range of measures to address the gender imbalance in babies. We will fully follow the reward and assistance system and other similar systems for rural families that comply with family planning regulations. We will expand the scope of the rural "fewer children equals faster prosperity" project. We will improve the family planning management and service system for the floating population.

We will develop old-age programs and actively address the issue of the aging of the population. We will develop programs for women, younger children and teenagers and safeguard the rights and interests of women and minors in accordance with the law. We will continue to show concern for and support programs for physically and mentally challenged persons and create a good environment that will enable them to participate in economic and social activities on an equal basis.

We will foster the common ideal of Chinese socialism among all groups in society, launch an extensive campaign to spread the socialist concept of honor and disgrace, and develop an atmosphere in society that fosters civilized and ethical behavior. Particular attention will be paid to cultivating ideals and ethics among young people. We will accelerate the progress of cultural programs and the development of the culture industry, promote reform of the cultural management system and improve the policy on the culture industry. We will promote the growth of the press and publishing, radio, television, film, art and literature. We will further develop philosophy and the social sciences. We will uphold the cultural rights and interests of the people and work to gradually establish a system of public cultural services that covers all groups in society to meet the cultural needs of the people. We will give high priority to the project to extend radio and TV coverage to every village, the project to develop multi-use cultural centers for communities, towns and townships, the project to set up a national database for sharing cultural information and resources, the project to show movies in the countryside and the project to set up libraries in rural areas. We will continue developing a number of key cultural projects. We will strengthen efforts to develop and manage the Internet culture and effectively protect our cultural heritage, natural heritage and archives. We will ensure order in the cultural market and continue to combat pornography and illegal publications. We will energetically develop sports programs and the sports industry, step up development of urban community sports facilities and local rural sports facilities, put great effort into developing exercise activities for the general public and raise the level of competitive sports. We will increase efforts to ensure successful preparation for the Beijing Olympics and Special Olympics, do a good job in preparing for the Shanghai World Expo, and successfully host the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai.

2. We will strengthen employment work and the social safety net.

We will continue to put expansion of employment high on the government's agenda for economic and social development. We will follow fiscal, tax and banking policies that promote employment and actively support the efforts of individuals to start their own businesses or find work for themselves. The focus of our employment work will be on finding employment for people who have been laid off and are still unemployed and those who worked at enterprises that are now bankrupt. We need to actively help zero-employment households and people who have difficulty finding employment find jobs, improve guidance and services for university graduates and promote the reform of the way discharged military personnel are assisted in returning to civilian life. We will develop harmonious labor relations, fully implement the labor contract system and protect the lawful rights and interests of workers.

We will step up development of the social safety net. This year's central government budget includes allocations totaling 201.9 billion yuan for strengthening the social safety net, an increase of 24.7 billion yuan over last year. We will continue to improve the basic old-age pension system for enterprise employees and proceed with the expansion of trials to fully fund personal old-age pension accounts. We will improve the system of basic medical insurance and the system of unemployment, workers' compensation, and pregnancy and maternity insurance for urban workers. We will accelerate the establishment of a social safety net targeted at rural migrant workers in cities, with the focus on signing them up for workers' compensation insurance and medical insurance for major diseases. We will step up efforts to formulate methods for transferring social security accounts of workers moving from one region to another. We will further expand coverage for social security, particularly coverage for people employed in the non-public sector such as those working in overseas-funded or private enterprises and urban residents with flexible employment. We will collect and build social security funds through a variety of channels. We will improve the methods for collecting and managing social security premiums to raise the collection rate. We will strengthen oversight and management of social welfare funds such as social security funds and matching fund programs for housing and strictly prevent their misuse. We will energetically develop social welfare programs.

We will improve the urban and rural social welfare system. We will improve the urban basic cost of living allowance system, the urban and rural subsidized medical care system, and the assistance system for urban vagrants and beggars. We will set up a nationwide basic minimum cost of living allowance system this year for rural residents, which is another major measure in the work to resolve issues related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers and build a harmonious society. All local governments should set reasonable eligibility requirements to receive such allowances and a reasonable level for allowances based on local conditions. Areas with financial difficulties will receive appropriate assistance from the central government budget. Setting up a basic cost of living allowance system for all urban and rural residents has great and far-reaching significance for promoting social fairness and building a harmonious society. We will continue to effectively implement preferential treatment policies to appropriately resolve the practical difficulties of entitled groups. We will conscientiously do the work of preventing and mitigating disasters, providing relief for victims of disasters and helping them get back on their feet. We will support the development of charity programs. We will ensure that urban and rural residents, especially the poverty-stricken population, enjoy the benefits of public finance.

3. We will strengthen production safety and improve market order.

We must resolutely work to reduce the occurrence of large-scale major accidents and improve production safety throughout the country. We will closely follow a principle of "safety first with emphasis on prevention and overall control," improve the production safety system, implement a responsibility system to ensure safe production, increase funding for production safety work, and strengthen education and training in production safety. We will bring the problem of coalmine gas buildup under control, remedy safety problems in some coalmines and shut down others. We will carry out a campaign to improve safety in key industries and fields. We will improve public safety in schools and crowded places. We will tighten oversight for production safety in accordance with the law and investigate and prosecute cases involving industrial accidents to the full extent of the law.

We will address both symptoms and root causes to thoroughly improve market order. We will accelerate development of a credit rating system. We will improve the market management system and strengthen market oversight. We will crack down on the production and sale of counterfeit goods, false advertising, commercial fraud, pyramid schemes, including pyramid schemes in disguised forms, tax evasion, tax fraud, smuggling and sale of smuggled goods. We will carry out extensive campaigns to ensure food safety and fully restore order to the pharmaceuticals market to ensure food and drug safety for the people.

4. We will further develop socialist democracy and the socialist legal system.

Developing democracy and improving the legal system is a basic requirement of the socialist system. The most important aspect of building a harmonious society is strengthening democracy and the legal system to promote social fairness and justice. We will actively yet prudently proceed with reforms in the political system and accelerate the development of democracy with Chinese characteristics. We will improve the system for safeguarding the people's democratic rights to ensure that the people are able to manage state affairs, economic and cultural affairs, and the affairs of society in accordance with the law. We will strengthen self-governing local organizations in urban and rural areas. We will expand democracy at the community level, improve the system for transparency in government, factory and village affairs, and ensure that people are able to directly exercise their democratic rights in accordance with the law. Governments at all levels should continue to make decisions scientifically and democratic ally, improve the collective decision-making system, the expert advisory system, the system of public notices and hearings and the decision accountability system for major issues, and ensure that citizens can exercise their right to stay informed of, to participate in, to express opinions about and to oversee government affairs.

We will promote all aspects of government administration by the rule of law. We will strengthen government-sponsored legislation, particularly legislation related to developing social programs, improving the social safety net, strengthening public administration, conserving energy and resources, and protecting the ecosystem. We will implement the administrative law enforcement accountability system to strengthen and improve administrative law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies must exercise their powers and carry out their duties in strict accordance with legally specified limits of authority and procedures. We will further improve administrative oversight. Governments at all levels and their employees must take the lead in observing the Constitution and other laws and handle affairs strictly in accordance with the law. They must conscientiously accept the oversight of the people's congresses and their standing committees and the democratic oversight of the CPPCC, and carefully listen to opinions from t he democratic parties, federations of industry and commerce, persons without party affiliation and people's organizations. They must accept the oversight of the news media and the general public. They must support supervision and auditing authorities in the independent exercise of their oversight duties in accordance with the law. We will tighten checks and oversight on the exercise of state power to ensure that the powers bestowed on us by the people are used for the benefit of the people. We will carry out an extensive campaign to raise public awareness of the law and do a good job in carrying out administrative reviews and providing legal services and assistance to the public. We will continue to reform the judicial administration system to ensure justice in the judicial system.

We will improve work related to ethnic groups, religions and overseas Chinese. We will fully enforce the Law on the Autonomy of Ethnic Minority Regions to consolidate and develop socialist ethnic relations based on equality, solidarity, mutual assistance and harmony. We will faithfully follow the Party's basic principle on work related to religions and conscientiously implement the Regulations on Religious Affairs. We will faithfully follow the Party's policy on overseas Chinese affairs and bring into full play the unique role of overseas Chinese nationals, returned overseas Chinese and their relatives in promoting reunification of the motherland and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

5. We need to safeguard social stability and harmony.

We must take safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of the people as the starting point and objective in correctly handling social problems in the new period and promoting social stability and harmony. We will improve the mechanisms for balancing interests, reporting on complaints, identifying and handling problems, and safeguarding the rights and interests of the people. We will earnestly carry out all policies that have a bearing on people's interests and act quickly to address complaints made by the people in accordance with the law and government policy. We will work hard to correct actions that harm the interests of the people in land expropriation and requisition, housing demolition, transformation of enterprises into stock companies and environmental protection. Government employees at all levels, especially senior officials, need to visit ordinary people in their communities and take the initiative to help them solve their problems. We will improve work in communities to strengthen their networks of services and management. We will improve the handling of people's complaints made in letters or through visits and improve the responsibility system for handling them. We will improve the crime prevention and control system in public security. We will intensify efforts to address serious public security issues and improve conditions in areas with poor public security. We will crack down on crimes in accordance with the law to safeguard national security and social stability.


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