China / Society

Social security tops public's concerns: survey

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-02-24 22:36

BEIJING - Social security and the country's anti-corruption drive have topped a list of social and political issues concerning respondents to an online poll prior to the annual sessions of China's parliament and top advisory body.

As of Monday, more than 3,320,000 Internet users had responded to the poll since it was launched on February 10 on, a major news portal operated by the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Social security tops the list for the fifth consecutive time since 2010. It has attracted more than 517,500 votes this year.

Among those who voted for social security, 84.62 percent support the abolition of China's current multi-track pension system, which allocates pensions according to people's workplace and their professional rank. Generally, people from the private sector are paid less than those from government departments and state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Guan Xinping, a professor on social policy with Nankai University, said the result has "showed the urgency of the social security issue, and China needs to make up shortfalls of the past."

"Social security is closely connected with people's livelihood and it is reasonable for people to attach the most importance to it," he added.

The National People's Congress, the top legislature, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the political advisory body, will convene their annual sessions next month.

NPC deputies have the right to address questions to the State Council or the ministries and commissions under it, and they must answer the questions in a responsible manner, according to China's Constitution.

Of the list of issues of most concern, China's fight against corruption came in second, earning more than 453,000 votes.

Most respondents praised the efficiency of the anti-graft measures launched by the CPC.

China's step-up in anti-corruption efforts in 2013 helps explain why people's expectations have been raised as they hope to see further systemic measures to curb official extravagance and corruption, said Yan Jirong, professor with the school of government under Peking University.

More than 30,000 pollees think inspections of provincial governments, SOEs and public institutions have generated tangible results in discovering malpractice and harmful work styles.

Project bidding, election of government officials and land projects are sectors prone to corrupt practices, according to the survey.

Other top concerns mentioned include food safety, income distribution, housing, the ecosystem and education.

"Many of the issues of concern are similar to those of previous years," said Yan. "That shows the difficulty in finding an ultimate solution."

Results of the poll will be passed onto other departments for reference, according to the website.

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