Home / China / Charity

Residents have a growing sense of well-being

By Xie Chuanjiao | China Daily | Updated: 2012-11-08 07:53

 Residents have a growing sense of well-being

Built in 1903, The Guesthouse - or former German Governor's Mansion - remains an architectural gem in Qingdao's old town.


Qingdao tops the list of China's "happiest cities" according to research released in August by the Hong Kong-based consultancy China Institute of City Competitiveness.

With the highest overall score of 95, the ranking demonstrates Qingdao has made a dramatic leap in evolving into a modern international city with a high living standard for residents, said a local official.

"Time and again, this goal weighs heaviest and most important during research and discussions on government strategy ," said Li Qun, Party chief of Qingdao.

"Livability and a sense of happiness are our people's ultimate demands."

Li added that "as a leading marine city with a booming open economy, Qingdao will surely set higher standards for people's living conditions and well-being".

"We have brought forward our specific objectives in education, health care, care for the elderly and housing," he said, adding that employment will be given the top priority.


In recent years, Qingdao has taken various measures to create jobs, especially making efforts to help college graduates and underprivileged groups find employment.

Last year the employment rate for graduates reached 93.7 percent, and 433,000 new jobs were taken in urban and suburban areas of Qingdao.

One of the government's approaches to boost employment is encouraging more people to start their own businesses and providing backing for expansion of startup.

If a college graduate starts a company within five years after graduation, he can join a startup incubator program that provides a rent-free office for a year and free management training courses as well as support from banks and investment firms.

The government also waives a series of administration fees.

To date 274 new companies have joined the program and created 4,491 jobs including business owners and employees.

In the past five years 10,000 graduates have made their way into entrepreneurship in Qingdao.

The average national rate of business creation for university students rose from 0.5 percent to 1.4 percent in the period, but in Qingdao it increased from 0.3 percent to 4.8 percent.

As the city works to refine and complete its employment service network, its aid reaches the countryside by advancing the public occupational training system.

Wu Yan, a farmer living in Jimo county whose land was purchased due to urbanization, registered for a garment sewing and apparel making training course in July.

A month later, she was hired by a local clothing company with over a dozen trainees.

"We had shortage of skilled workers because many job seekers did not meet our requirements years ago. Due to the government-aided training programs, the dilemma has been solved," said Wu Yan's supervisor.

To date Qingdao has allocated 1.68 billion yuan to support employment.

Housing is another highlight of the government's work, according to local officials. The city plans to make what is reportedly to be the largest investment in government-subsidized housing projects.

More than 20 percent of the total housing will be offered to citizens with low incomes by 2015.

From 2008 to 2010, Qingdao implemented its first three-year housing plan which provided affordable housing to 35,000 low-income families.

In 2011, a renewed three-year housing plan was launched to add another 60,000 houses.

Increasing support to the social security system is given to help the pressing aging population with a decent life.

"My pension has doubled compared with the first year of my retirement," said Ji yuxin, a 70-year-old pensioner as he pointed at his bankbook, "I am so happy to enjoy the surplus."

At present, a comprehensive social security system including endowment and medical insurance has expanded to rural and urban areas of Qingdao, paying out a cumulative retirement benefit of 2.88 billion yuan.

The city's health care plan now covers 97 percent of its citizens, and 100 percent of rural residents have joined the New Cooperative Medical System, which raised its maximum payout for individuals to 12,000 yuan.


Polar icebreaker Snow Dragon arrives in Antarctic
Xi's vision on shared future for humanity
Air Force units explore new airspace
Premier Li urges information integration to serve the public
Dialogue links global political parties
Editor's picks
Beijing limits signs attached to top of buildings across city
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349