China takes people's wellbeing as fundamental goal of development

(People's Daily) 17:11, March 08, 2024

The per capita disposable income of Chinese residents increased by 6.1 percent in real terms last year, outpacing the GDP growth during the same period. China created 12.44 million new urban jobs, maintaining overall stability in employment. Additionally, with price reductions and medical insurance reimbursement, negotiated drug prices in 2023 saved over 200 billion yuan ($27.78 billion) for patients.

These tangible improvements in livelihoods have continuously enhanced the Chinese people's sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security.

Villagers pick citruses in an orchard in Changshou district, southwest China's Chongqing municipality. (People's Daily Online/Li Hui)

"In recent years, our village has vigorously developed collective economy, which created job opportunities and increased villagers' income," said Xu Chuanjiang, Party head of Yuejia Village community in Chengyang neighborhood, Juxian county, Rizhao, east China's Shandong province.

Yuejia Village has made a success in running supermarkets and hotels, and now its collective assets have exceeded 1 billion yuan, with a collective economic income of 65 million yuan.

"In the future, we will continue to expand the village's collective economy and explore new paths to prosperity," said Xu.

To meet the housing needs of people is an important goal for improving people's livelihoods and directly concerns their well-being, said Shangguan Jian, secretary of the Communist Youth League Shanghai Committee.

Shanghai is increasing the supply of affordable rental housing for new residents and young people, accelerating the development of a multi-level and tiered rental housing supply system, Shangguan noted. The city is also optimizing the spatial layout of affordable housing for young people to alleviate the housing difficulties they face.

Equal education is an important foundation for social equity.

"In our school, there are over 3,500 students from ethnic minority groups. With the support from governments at various levels, there have been significant improvements in infrastructure, and students have achieved balanced and comprehensive overall development," said Yulong, a teacher at the First Primary School in Menghai county, Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, southwest China's Yunnan province.

Students watch a robot performance in an elementary school in Handaokou township, Xiayi county, central China's Henan province. (People's Daily Online/Miao Yucai)

According to her, 20 schools were built or expanded in Xishuangbanna last year, providing an additional 9,680 school places and introducing high-quality educational resources. As a result, teaching quality in the prefecture has been on continuous improvement.

In recent years, various issues concerning people's livelihoods, ranging from strengthening food safety supervision to reducing students' academic burden, and from the "toilet revolution" to garbage sorting, have been effectively addressed.

The various demands and needs of the people are being addressed and satisfied, highlighting the image and unique strengths of Chinese modernization.

To provide people with easier access to high-quality medical resources, China has implemented a series of policies and measures, such as establishing urban medical groups and county-level medical consortia, said Yang Zhenglin, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of the Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital.

Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital has established a medical alliance with 12 county-level public hospitals through a trusteeship model, to bring high-quality medical resources to lower-tier regions, thus expanding people's access to medical services, Yang noted.

With steady progress in various reforms and gradual improvement of supporting measures, significant achievements have been made in ensuring people's access to childcare. The enrollment rate for preschool education has reached 91.1 percent, and the number of affordable kindergartens has reached 236,400. A comprehensive and quality public service system for preschool education, which ensures wide coverage and basic access, is continuously being established.

"In recent years, China has accelerated the improvement of its elderly care service system, greatly enhancing the sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security for the elderly," said Xiong Shuilong with the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

A staff member talks to a senior in an elderly care center in Yuanshan community, Yichun, east China's Jiangxi province. (People's Daily Online/Zhou Liang)

As one of the pilot cities for the long-term care insurance system, Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, has issued trial measures on long-term care insurance.

Currently, the long-term care insurance system covers nearly 8.97 million employees and over 2.54 million residents in the city. A total of 83,000 people have been benefited.

Xiong suggested further expanding the pilot scope. "By further expanding the coverage, we can ensure that elderly people in need of long-term care receive proper assistance, relieving more families of their worries."

In 2023, the Department of Civil Affairs of Hunan Province, in collaboration with relevant departments, carried out a special campaign to ensure the well-being of 9,000 orphans and 29,000 children without parental care, safeguarding their healthy growth, said Huang Donghong, head of the Department of Civil Affairs of Hunan Province.

This year, Hunan province will continue to expand the care for vulnerable children, including raising the minimum living guarantee standards for orphans and children without parental care as a key priority in the province's livelihood projects. More care will be extended to those in need of assistance, she added.

The wellbeing of the people is the fundamental goal of development. Making steady progress in ensuring people's access to childcare, education, employment, medical services, elderly care, housing, and social assistance, China has continuously enhanced the wellbeing of the people and raised their quality of life.

(Web editor: Chang Sha, Wu Chengliang)


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