President Xi Jinping has called for better care for China's aging population.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks on the afternoon of May 27 at a group study attended by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on the state and future of a graying society.
He emphasized the importance of meeting the needs of the vast number of the elderly and solving social problems.
With the world's largest number of senior citizens, China has improved elder care, Xi said. However, much remains to be done and there is a quite big gap between reality and elderly people's expectation of happy twilight years, he said.
China has the largest number of aging population, thus careful handling of the issue holds a stake over the overall development of the nation and people's well-being, Xi said.
Xi called for "a positive attitude" because the elderly deserve acceptance and respect from the public.
Respecting and caring for the elderly is a Chinese traditional virtue, and it should be carried out in modern times. The elderly should also develop a sense of self-respect and independence, he said.
Xi urged continuous improvement in the elderly-care system by enhancing scientific study and learning constructive experience from other countries.
Pension insurance and medical insurance systems should be perfected, and supporting policies should be provided for the family pension mode and showing loving care and service for rural elderly left at home, Xi said.
The elderly should be encouraged to play an active role in moral education and resolving social conflicts.
Xi also pointed to the bright prospects of the old-age business, given the huge demand for products and services. He said government support should foster new growth points.
There are more than 220 million people aged at 60 or older in China, 16 percent of the total population.
(Xinhua News Agency May 28, 2016)