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Are you happy in 2012?

(People's Daily Online)

08:15, December 27, 2012

2012 has been an eventful year for China and the rest of the world. Many topics are worth noting, including the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Chinese dreams, Mo Yan’s Nobel literature win, the remote national college entrance examination, and aircraft carrier style. They all point to an ultimate topic – happiness.

Happiness widely discussed in 2012

Mo Yan was asked whether he was happy when awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. A ranking of cities by happiness aroused widespread discussion on this topic. Partially free expressways encouraged people to travel happily. The public have actively discussed and thought about happiness, and the Chinese government has also taken the people’s happiness as its goal.

“People's yearning for a beautiful life is the goal for us to strive for,” said Xi Jinping, the newly elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. The Chinese dream of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation means happiness for all Chinese people.

Improving people’s well-being and happiness

During the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays this year, China Central Television broadcast a special survey on the question “Are you happy?” for nine consecutive days in prime time starting Sept. 29. The program features the people’s authentic answers to the question, and aroused widespread public discussion on happiness.

The central and local governments have introduced a series of measures in 2012 to further improve the people’s livelihoods and make them happier. It was stated in the government work report in March that the country would spend 4 percent of its gross domestic product on education. New guidelines on major disease insurance covering both urban and rural residents were issued in August. Small vehicles were allowed to pass expressway toll stations free of charge during the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays for the first time.

Furthermore, the country met its 2012 social housing target ahead of time. Construction of more than 7.2 million social housing units started in cities and towns in the first 10 months of the year, of which, more than 5 million units had been completed.

“Public happiness is the happiness people obtain from public goods, and the government is the main provider of such happiness,” said Zhang Xiaode, deputy director of the Department of Economics at the Chinese Academy of Governance.

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