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Vice premier calls for actively coping with aging problem


08:05, August 17, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Thursday called for actively coping with the country's aging problem that has extended its far-reaching influence onto economic and social development.

The first half of the 21st century is a key period for the rapid development of the country's aging problem, and China has not adequately prepared to respond to the aging population, Hui, who is also director of the China National Committee on Aging, said at a meeting.

Some 123 million Chinese were over age 65 by the end of 2011, accounting for 9.1 percent of the total population, according to official data.

The scale of the aging population, the level of its development and the burden put on society have exceeded expectations, Hui said.

Elderly people should be considered an important force that can be depended on for economic and social development, and efforts should be made to meet the material and cultural needs of the elderly, Hui said.

The vice premier urged making improvements in the pension, medical insurance and elderly care systems and perfecting the mechanism for including the elderly in social activities.

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