9. Doing more to safeguard and improve people’s wellbeing
Better coordination will be achieved between the efforts to improve people’s wellbeing and those to develop the economy. We will strive to make the social safety net tighter and sturdier, and to improve the standard and quality of public services, so that our people’s sense of benefit continues to grow.
1) We will put every effort into fighting poverty.
We will consolidate and build on our achievements made in the fight against poverty so far and speed up implementation of key poverty alleviation projects, such as relocating people from inhospitable areas, supporting the development of local industries, and providing job-seeking assistance. We will boost efforts to carry out work-relief programs, and will support the development in poor areas of infrastructure and basic public services, such as transportation, water conservancy, education, health care and family planning, cultural services, and social security.
We will work on policies and measures to help people in border regions eliminate poverty and achieve moderate prosperity with a view to stabilizing and consolidating our frontier. We will support development and poverty relief work in old revolutionary base areas, such as the Sichuan-Shaanxi region and the former Central Soviet areas in southern Jiangxi, Fujian, and Guangdong. We will prudently carry out the pilot poverty-relief reform which enables people in poor areas to share in the proceeds from the exploitation of local hydropower and mineral resources. We will make further efforts to fight poverty by providing access to and improving financial services, health care, education, transportation, and e-commerce, and by developing the tourism industry in local areas; in addition, we will provide support and assistance to people who have been driven into, or have fallen back into, poverty because of medical expenses. Provincial-level trials to use internet-based initiatives to alleviate poverty will be carried out.
2) We will fully implement the strategy of prioritizing employment.
Priority groups will continue to receive support in starting businesses and finding jobs. Initiatives will be implemented to promote employment for college graduates, to guide them in starting businesses, and to encourage them to work at community level; and efforts will be made to see that demobilized military personnel are resettled in new jobs. We will further expand trials to provide support for migrant workers and others who return to their hometown to set up businesses, with a focus on creating industrial clusters in local areas for these returnees, promoting rural e-commerce, and reducing overcapacity and developing alternative industries. We will properly resettle and provide reemployment services for people laid off due to the scaling down of overcapacity in the coal and steel industries. We will develop and improve community-based employment service facilities and public vocational training centers, and strengthen employment assistance, thereby boosting the capacity of public employment services.
3) We will strengthen social security so as to better meet people’s basic needs.
We will work to reform and improve the basic old-age insurance system. Integration of the medical insurance schemes for rural and non-working urban residents will be stepped up. Pilot programs on long-term care insurance and the integration of maternity insurance with the basic medical insurance for urban workers will come into operation. We will coordinate the development of social assistance systems.
The housing system will be improved to encourage both buying and renting and to ensure the continuous improvement of housing conditions for both low- and middle-income groups and people facing difficulties. In 2017, we will begin renovations on six million units of housing in run-down urban areas and continue to rebuild dilapidated houses in rural areas, with a focus on supporting subsistence allowance beneficiaries; rural residents who receive assistance because of extreme poverty and do not live in a nursing home; families of people with disabilities living in poverty; and registered poor households. We will continue to develop government-subsidized housing including public rental housing.
4) We will improve the system of basic public services.
We will implement the plan for ensuring equitable access to basic public services during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. The system for a list of basic public services will be established. We will reform the management of the higher education admission scheme. In 2017, regular institutions of higher learning are projected to enroll 7.35 million undergraduate students and 844,000 graduate students. We will strengthen efforts to develop more world-class universities and first-class fields of discipline.
We will press ahead with the comprehensive reform of public hospitals nationwide, fully launch the trials to establish diverse forms of medical consortiums, and set up assessment and incentive mechanisms for ensuring quality medical resources are shared between different levels of medical institutions. We will ensure governments’ responsibility of ensuring basic health care is fulfilled. We will implement the program to ensure a healthy population, and boost the capacity of counties in the central and western regions to offer comprehensive medical and health care services, as well as the capacity of institutions for disease prevention and control and for maternal and child care. As the policy of allowing couples to have two children has come into effect, we will provide better medical and health services related to childbirth. We will support the law-based development of traditional Chinese medicine.
We will introduce and implement the plan for developing elderly services and building the elderly care system during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. We will improve the system for elderly services, and implement the plan to train elderly-care workers. We will introduce and carry out the national population development plan, and work to ensure the implementation of the policy of allowing couples to have two children. We will, more effectively, safeguard the rights and interests of women, minors, people with disabilities, and other social groups.
We will ensure more equitable access to basic public cultural services and help localities to implement the national standards for guiding the provision of basic public cultural services. We will encourage innovation in the ways of delivering public cultural services as well as private-sector participation in developing the system of public cultural services. We will ensure that philosophy and the social sciences flourish.
We will promote public fitness programs, and boost the popularity of community sports. We will move ahead with the plan for the long- and medium-term development of soccer in China as well as the plan for the construction of soccer fields and facilities.
We will deepen cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao in the areas of investment, the economy, and trade, and work to upgrade the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between the mainland and the two regions. We will support Hong Kong and Macao in participating in and contributing to the Belt and Road Initiative as well as regional economic cooperation. We will carry out work involving Hong Kong and Macao as part of the 13th Five-Year Plan. We will press ahead with the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge so as to more quickly achieve a greater level of interconnectivity in infrastructure between Guangdong Province, Hong Kong, and Macao. Development of the Qianhai, Nansha, and Hengqin platforms for cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao will be accelerated, and regional cooperation in the pan-Pearl River Delta will be pushed to a higher level and made more substantive. We will support Hong Kong in its efforts to pursue innovation and develop science and technology, to consolidate and elevate its position as an international financial, shipping, and trade center, and to cultivate new strengths. We will provide further support for Macao in becoming a world tourism and leisure center and in building a platform to facilitate business and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. We will also support Macao in developing industries such as convention and exhibition, specialized financial services, cultural & creative industries as well as cross-border e-commerce, so as to promote an appropriate level of diversity in its economy. We will ensure platforms for cooperation with Taiwan are successfully established, including the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Area, Fuzhou New Area, and the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone, so as to deepen cross-Straits economic exchange and cooperation.
Accomplishing the work for economic and social development in 2017 is both a demanding and important task. We will unite even closer around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, take Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development as our guide, and fully implement the guidelines from General Secretary Xi Jinping’s major political addresses as well as his new concepts, thoughts, and strategies on the governance of China. We will willingly accept the oversight of the NPC, and seek comments and suggestions from the CPPCC National Committee with an open mind. Let us pool our will and strength to promote reform and innovation, work hard to deliver a sound performance to overcome the difficulties ahead, and foster steady and sound economic and social development, so as to welcome the convocation of the 19th CPC National Congress with outstanding achievements.