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Better social services

(China Daily)

09:04, March 21, 2012

Premier Wen Jiabao's call on Monday, for private organizations to shoulder more of the burden for providing social services, represents both an opportunity and a challenge.

Certainly there is a need to improve the provision of social services to meet China's rapidly changing needs.

Industrialization, modernization and urbanization have deeply transformed China's social structure, with a significant proportion of the rural population migrating to urban areas in search of a better life, despite the lack of equal opportunities and equal access to public services.

The provision of social services needs to be expanded to meet their needs and those of the country's growing number of elderly.

Without a doubt, as the key provider of public services, the government is obligated to take the leading role in this endeavor.

However, even with the best will in the world it cannot bear the burden on its own, especially as social progress means the demand for social services will only increase and become more varied.

Chinese people are showing more and more enthusiasm for helping others. For instance, after the earthquake hit Wenchuan, Sichuan province, in 2008, many individuals reached out helping hands earlier than the government.

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