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UPDATED: March 22, 2010 NO. 11 MARCH 18, 2010
Voices From the People

Of course, efforts must also be made to improve infrastructure and public services in small towns, and help create more jobs for rural migrants. The government is expected to step up fiscal investments and financial support needed to accelerate development in small towns.

Educational Reform

Zhang Xinsheng, member of the 11th CPPCC National Committee and Vice Minister of Education

Chinese government departments, including the Ministry of Education, are concerned about educational reform: how to cultivate students with various abilities instead of their just getting good marks in exams?

We are now in a test run of curriculum reform. We think it is not proper to divide student in high schools into two groups--one focusing on studying history, politics and literature and another on the study of chemistry, physics and mathematics. It is definitely not good for the development of the students. Modern society demands talented people with comprehensive development, including literature and natural sciences.

Now our education focuses more on intellectual education and doesn't pay enough attention to moral and physical education. This is not a healthy educational system.

Some people blame employment problems facing college students on enlarged enrollment in universities. I don't think this is correct. After China began the opening-up and reform policy more than 30 years ago, for a long time the number of college graduates couldn't meet the demand of social development, so a higher enrollment in some way solved the problem.

Our country's development needs technology and talent. Governments at all levels, public enterprises, and private firms must all work together.

Rural Pension Insurance

Xie Deti, member of the 11th CPPCC National Committee and a professor of Southwest University based in Chongqing Municipality

Rural pension insurance reform is another important reform after taxation reform in rural areas. Including rural residents in the insurance system is part of the demand in providing an insurance system for the whole of society and also demanded by overall development of rural and urban areas.

Pension insurance in rural areas has long been a difficult problem and of great importance for their development. Since the 1980s, the government has gradually set up a social insurance system. A rural pension insurance project was started in 1992 but didn't make any obvious achievements.

Apart from financial support from the government and the completion of a social insurance system, pension insurance relies more on the economic development of rural areas.

By the end of 2012, pension insurance will cover 40 districts and counties affiliated to Chongqing Municipality.

A Fairer Distribution System

Song Xiaowu, member of the 11th CPPCC National Committee and Director of the China Society of Economic Reform

In recent years, with steady increases in people's incomes in rural and urban areas, there has developed an increasingly large gap between the rich and the poor. One of the reasons is that people working in state monopolized companies get very high prices. This is the result of an imbalance of government-allocated and market-allocated resources.

This problem, if not solved, will have a negative effect on social stability.

My suggestion is that we should raise the minimum wage for low incomes, as well as regulate profit allocation of state-owned monopolies.

Medical reform

Yang Jinsheng: member of the 11th CPPCC National Committee and Deputy Director of Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion under the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

There are quite a few types of medical insurance in China, and different places have difference policies on adopting it, which makes management more difficult. I think we should set up a complete medical insurance system that applies to all people, with commercial insurance and social welfare as complements.

I think it is very necessary to focus on the importance of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in modern times. TCM is effective in treating chronic diseases and we should include TCM in the public medical services system.

Many people seem to think that only after they are treated in big hospitals in big cities will they be cured from diseases. This is one of the reasons that make it difficult to see doctors. I think we should improve the situation in two ways. One is to develop more community clinics which are more convenient for residents; another is to further spread the All-China Sport Project.

Spurring Consumption

Zheng Xinli, Deputy Director of the Economy Committee under the 11th CPPCC National Committee

Our economic development now relies more on investment and exports. To transform its mode, we should make consumption play a bigger role in economic development, which means we should expand domestic demand. In 2009, with the impact of global crisis, our exports dropped 16 percent, making the expansion of domestic demand a more urgent task.

In 2009, China achieved an 8.7-percent increase in economic growth through investment and consumption, which means we have made great progress in transforming the mode. But the proportion of investment was much greater than consumption, and the latter dropped to its lowest level since 1979.

Increasing consumption is a crucial must to transform the development mode.

The government work report requires we should increase the consumption rate from 35 percent to 50 percent, an increase of 15 percent, in the next two or three years. If we can do this, total retail sales of social consumer goods will increase by 50 percent. I think we can do it.

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