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Special> NPC & CPPCC Sessions 2013> Exclusive
UPDATED: March 11, 2013 NO. 11 MARCH 14, 2013
Key Priorities for 2013

Promoting Integrated Urban and Rural Development

Agriculture and rural development in China have now entered a new stage in which overall agricultural production costs are rising, structural problems in the supply and demand of agricultural products are worsening, the rural social structure is undergoing profound changes, and the integration of urban and rural development is speeding up. All the major and difficult problems that we face in completion of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects are in rural areas. The rural land system is central to maintaining rural stability and ensuring China's long-term development. Its main purpose is to guarantee farmers' property rights and interests, and its main objective is to ensure that China's farmland remains at or above the red line of 120 million hectares. We should continue to make household contracts the basis of rural operations, support the development of new farmers' cooperatives of various forms and multi-level commercial organizations that provide agricultural services, and gradually establish a new type of system of intensive agricultural operations that are specialized, well organized and commercialized. We should always protect farmers' legitimate property rights and keep them motivated.

Urbanization is a historical task in China's modernization drive, and urbanization and agricultural modernization complement each other. Megacities and large cities should be kept at an appropriate scale and fully play their role in driving the development of their surrounding areas. Small and medium-sized cities and small towns should become better able to develop industries, provide public services, create jobs, and attract residents. We should accelerate reform of the household registration system, the social management system and related institutions; register eligible rural workers as permanent urban residents in an orderly manner; progressively expand the coverage of basic public services in urban areas to all their permanent residents; and create an equitable institutional environment for freedom of movement and for people to live and work in contentment. In improving village conditions, we should preserve their distinctive rural flavor, make their environment more livable, and ensure that urbanization and the building of a new countryside reinforce each other.

Improving People's Well-being

We should do all we can to increase employment, and persevere in implementing the strategy of giving top priority to employment and adopt a more proactive employment policy. We should create more jobs by maintaining stable economic growth and adjusting the economic structure and provide better vocational skills training to help people to find jobs or start their own business. We should increase government spending and policy support, improve the employment services system, stimulate employment by encouraging business startups, assist target groups in finding jobs, and stimulate sustained, steady increases in urban and rural incomes.

We should improve the social security system, and continue to follow the policy of making coverage universal, ensuring basic care, and providing multi-level and sustainable social security. We should expand the coverage of social security, turn over the overall management of social security accounts to higher-level authorities, raise social security benefits, improve and coordinate all social security programs, make social security more equitable and sustainable, and facilitate the smooth transfer of social security accounts between localities.

We should advance reform and development of medical and health care services, consolidate and improve the system for using basic drugs and the new operating mechanisms of community-level medical and health care institutions, speed up the reform of public hospitals, and encourage non-government bodies to operate hospitals.

We should progressively improve the government population policy, and adhere to the basic state policy on family planning. In response to changes in the size and structure of China's total population, we should comprehensively solve problems relating to the size, health, structure and geographical distribution of the population and promote long-term, balanced population development.

We should strengthen and make innovations in social management. We should improve the way the government provides public services, strengthen the system of social management and services at the community level, and improve self-governance by villagers and urban residents, to ensure that the people directly exercise their democratic rights in accordance with the law by managing community-level public affairs and running public service programs.

We should tighten regulation of the real estate market and strengthen construction of government-subsidized housing. We need to firmly rein in speculative and investment-driven housing demand, promptly improve the accountability system for stabilizing housing prices and the policies for regulating the real estate market, and strengthen mechanisms for sustaining its steady and sound development.

We should deepen reform of the management system for science and technology. We should integrate science and technology more closely with the economy, and establish a technological innovation system that is based on enterprises, guided by the market, and integrates enterprises, universities and research institutes.

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