Fact Check
Gross national wellbeing
By Lan Xinzhen  ·  2024-07-08  ·   Source: NO.28 JULY 11, 2024

Increasing people's living standards and quality of life is one of the main purposes of China's economic development.

The Third Plenary Session of the 11th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, held in late 1978, kicked off China's program of reform and opening up. Decades later, the Chinese people's lives have greatly improved and the country has also become a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

The Third Plenary Session of the 20th CPC Central Committee, scheduled for July 15 to 18, is considered another landmark event in China's history as the country enters a new stage of development. Advancing economic modernization and elevating people's wellbeing will be important topics of the meeting. 

Since the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in 2013, China has redoubled its efforts to improve people's living standards. The country eliminated extreme poverty, the first target of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in 2020. Basic infrastructure in formerly poverty-stricken rural areas has significantly improved, and culture, education and healthcare resources are gradually being enhanced there.

Cellphones, the Internet and other modern communication technologies are also widely used in these areas. Communication services are available in 99.9 percent of China's administrative villages, 99.6 percent of them have access to broadband Internet, and 99.9 percent of them are covered by radio and television signals. In China, an administrative village usually consists of one village or several adjacent villages and has an elected villagers committee to manage its affairs.

Social security is also a focus of people's concerns. China's social security system and healthcare system are both the largest in the world. Approximately 1.33 billion people in the country participate in basic medical insurance, while basic pension insurance, unemployment insurance and work-related injury insurance now cover 1.07 billion, 240 million and 290 million people, respectively. Effective social security guarantees provide strong support for promoting social equity and justice, and lay solid foundations for better living standards.

Employment is fundamental to people's wellbeing. The government has paid great attention to creating more employment opportunities and increasing residential income. China has established an inclusive lifelong vocational training system, launched programs to help poorly educated people improve their working skills, and rolled out targeted measures to boost employment of college graduates. Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics show China's employment situation is stable. In the first quarter of this year, the average surveyed urban unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, down by 0.3 percentage points from the same period last year. In March, the surveyed urban unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the previous month and the same month last year. 

A major part of China's pro-employment policies is to remove institutional and policy barriers in related fields. Previously, migrant workers did not usually enjoy the same public services and social benefits as local residents. Now, the relaxation of the household registration requirements in urban areas, except for several megacities, has enabled freer flow of labor and talent.

China has also vigorously stepped up efforts to conserve the ecology and address air pollution, water and soil pollution, and made progress toward peaking its carbon emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060. The living environment for China's people is becoming increasingly beautiful.

Improving people's wellbeing is a long-term task. The Third Plenary Session of the 20th CPC Central Committee will focus on further deepening all aspects of reform to see that the gains of development benefit all of China's population fairly. BR

Copyedited by G.P. Wilson

Comments to lanxinzhen@cicgamericas.com

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