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People's livelihood is priority for development | Updated: 2013-03-06 22:50

Premier Wen Jiabao's Government Work Report shows concrete figures of the progress and improvements in the quality of peoples' lives and well-being, and efforts should be continuously paid to sustain it, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

These figures - like government spending on education that has surpassed two trillion yuan ($320 billion) and basic pensions for enterprise retirees that will rise by 10 percent this year - have risen compared both compared with previous data and per capita. These figures suggest tangible improvements of people's livelihood.

It's people's rights to share the bonus of modernization, and to guarantee such rights is the government's obligation. On this point, a valuable and hard-won change of the development model has been made for many local governments from worshipping GDP to prioritizing social welfare.

This transition was due to the government's initiative to respond to people's concerns more actively, as the government understood that economic growth could no longer be pursued at any price. Meanwhile, public and media opinion is also wielding more influence these days.

However, we have to acknowledge that progress and improvements are far from being enough. People's livelihoods, by many criteria, still face tough situations and intractable issues: environmental pollution, sky-rocketing housing prices, education inequality, widening income gap, etc. How well these issues can be handled will decide whether China's economic and social development will be challenged and if those achievements can be sustained.

So the increasing investment by the government on social well-being should be ensured by law to institutionalize a sustainable model for improving people's livelihood.

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