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China's 4 trillion yuan stimulus package to improve people's livelihood
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16:34, December 17, 2008

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The annual Central Economic Work Conference that opened early this month set the tone for economic development next year. The three-day event would give priority to maintain stable economic growth and improve people's livelihood.

An old Chinese saying goes like this, "People are the foundation of a country; when the foundation is stable, the country is in peace." People's livelihood is regarded as the top priority. China offered a four trillion yuan stimulus package: 280 billion yuan will be spent on housing projects for low-income urban residents, 370 billion yuan on improvement of people's livelihood and infrastructure in rural areas, 40 billion yuan on medical care, culture and education causes, 350 billion yuan on ecological investment and one trillion on disaster relief and reconstruction.

Generally speaking, over two trillion yuan will be invested to improve people's livelihood. Projects for improving people's livelihood account for some 70 percent of 100-billion-yuan central investment this year. Daily Telegraph reported that it is China's new deal for its people.

"It's a huge package." Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was quoted as saying. "It will have an influence not only on the world economy in supporting demand but also a lot of influence on the Chinese economy itself, and I think it is good news for correcting imbalances."

China adopted more powerful macro-control measures in light of the global financial meltdown compared to those taken to tackle the Asian Financial Crisis ten years ago. China's top planners enlarged the investment on the construction of railway, airport, expressway and urban grid, which will bring benefit to the people. Next year, 600 billion yuan will be spent on railways, which can create six million jobs.

More funds will be allocated for improving people's livelihood and expanding domestic demand next year, particularly the consumers' demand. Let investment stimulate consumption and consumption boost growth. Apart from that, the package also aims at creating jobs and raising people's incomes.

The Central Economic Work Conference once again focused on people's income this year by raising the minimum purchase prices for grains, increasing subsidies for low-income urban and rural residents, increasing pension funds for enterprises retirees, implementing a more proactive policy of employment and making more effort in social security, education and medical care.

Compared with the market-rescuing plans by some western countries targeting on financial sector, the measures China adopted to boost domestic demand focused more on the Chinese people. The unprecedented four trillion yuan stimulus package marks a new era for social security and the improvement of people's livelihood in China. The steady and rapid economic development in China has helped the country to improve people's livelihood, ensuring everyone has the opportunity of an education, employment, medical care, pension and housing.

Maintaining growth while making people's livelihood the priority despite the global economic slowdown has put China in the spotlight. An economist in Japan said the Chinese government did an outstanding job in coping with the international financial crisis, even better than the developed countries.

By People's Daily Online

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