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UPDATED: 09:49, September 28, 2004
Two preconditions for China to build a well-off society
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Zhang Weiqing, director of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, stressed that the strengthening of the strategic research of population development and the consolidation of the grass-root work in family planning were the two preconditions for China to build a well-off society.

At the working conference of the national family planning service center, Zhang pointed out that the initial score of years in this century spells an important strategic opportunity for China's economic and social development. Therefore, we must accomplish the two preconditions "propping up the sky and standing on the earth" without fail.

The first and foremost is to prop up the sky, i.e. we must treat the people as the core of the matter, and in line with the requirement for an overall, coordinated and sustainable development to strengthen the strategic research on population development. That is to tackle scientifically the natural and social laws of population development, establish a supporting system for decision-making and population development and correctly handle the interrelationship of the population, economy, society, resources and environment, so as to provide a strategic support for a rapid and better development of the economy and society.

And the second is to stand on the earth, namely, we need to consolidate the grass-root work of family planning, strengthen the construction of a service network and the informationization, improve the management and service level of family planning in order to stabilize the low birth rate, thereby providing a mechanism guarantee to the enhancement of population quality and to the realization of a well-off society in an all round way.

Although China's birth rate has gone down to an alternative level, he maintains, yet the basic national condition of a large population and low economic basis and few average resources hasn't been fundamentally changed nor has the important place of the family planning as the basic national policy, nor has the main contradiction of family planning been radically changed. Under the heaven, nothing is harder, I should say, than the implementation of family planning. In light of China's large population, the annual birth rate still remained at 16 million since 2000. The implementation of the contraception still remains to be a very heavy task to be tackled.

Meanwhile, the overall quality of China's population cannot be improved in one move. There appears a bigger sex disparity among the newborn babies and a speedy aging problem. This has made the population structure more complicated, which has further intensified the complexity and difficulty of the family planning. Any deviation of policies, mishap in work and unfavorable influence of external environment are quite likely to induce the relapse of the family planning work and even to incur irremediable result, thus jeopardizing the goal for an all-round construction of a well-off society.

In the beginning of the 1980s, the family planning service organizations set up then performed the general functions of public education, technological service, training of relevant personnel and the handout of contraceptive medicine and equipment. By the end of 2000, there were a total of 2702 such service centers at the county level and 34,721 township service centers. Now they have formed service network warmly welcomed by the people with a wide coverage, relatively complete functions and outstanding specialties. The statistics show that these service centers at the county and township levels have undertaken up some 70 to 80 percent of the family planning operations.

By People's Daily Online

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