V. Making Sustained Efforts to Improve Living Standards
and Promote Social Development
The only way to build a country is to enrich its people. With increasing people' s quality of life as our objective, we will accelerate the development of social programs, reform and improve the income distribution system, do everything possible to increase people's incomes, and promote social equity, justice, harmony, and progress.
We will work hard to promote business development and increase employment.
We will continue to give top priority to employment and the creation of jobs by encouraging entrepreneurship. This year, the number of college graduates will reach 7.49 million, a record high. We need to strengthen employment guidance and education on starting up in business; implement the plan to help college graduates find jobs and encourage them to look to the community level to find employment; and carry out the plan to guide university students toward starting their own businesses and support them in creating start-ups in emerging industries.
We will work to help people who have lost their jobs due to structural adjustments or measures to address overcapacity to find new employment, and coordinate efforts to ensure employment can be found for people who move from rural to urban areas to find work, vulnerable urban residents who have difficulty finding jobs, and decommissioned military personnel. We will put into effect the plan on providing vocational training for migrant workers, and implement and improve the unemployment insurance policy on supporting enterprises that keep people in their jobs. We will draw on comprehensive governance to deal with the "missing" or delayed wages of migrant workers, improve the mechanisms for supervising the handling of labor issues and disputes, and ensure the law fully functions as the protector of the rights and interests of anyone in employment.
We will strengthen social security and increase individual income.
The basic pension benefits for enterprise retirees will be increased by 10%. The monthly basic pension benefits for rural and non-working urban residents will be uniformly raised from 55 yuan to 70 yuan per person. We will work to place the basic pensions of workers in urban areas under unified national management. The premiums will be lowered for insurance schemes such as the unemployment insurance scheme and the workplace injury insurance scheme. We will improve the mechanism for adjusting minimum wages. We will take steps to reform the pension system for employees of Party and government offices and public institutions and at the same time improve their pay systems, and we will make policies weighted toward benefiting government and Party employees at the community level. A system will be instituted under which public servants of Party and government offices at and below the county level can be promoted in terms of both their post and their rank, and are paid accordingly.
We will increase aid for treating major and serious diseases and implement the temporary-assistance scheme nationwide so that people with urgent or special needs will have somewhere to go for support, and will be able to get that support straight away. We will develop sound welfare and service systems for vulnerable groups including children living in difficult circumstances, the very elderly, elderly people with disabilities, people with serious disabilities, and people with disabilities who are living in poverty. We will continue to raise subsistence allowances for rural and urban residents and increase benefits and living allowances for entitled groups. Policies for increasing wages and social security benefits have a bearing on a great number of people; their implementation by governments at all levels must be completely satisfactory. Ensuring people' s wellbeing is a top priority for the government, and we must do all we can to make sure that basic needs are met.
We will promote fair access to and strengthen the quality of education.
Education is an endeavor for today, but a source of hope for tomorrow. We need to foster virtue through education and ensure that students develop a strong sense of social responsibility, innovative thinking, and an ability to put ideas into practice. We should ensure that students strengthen their dedication to socialism with Chinese characteristics. We will deepen the reform to expand the responsibility of provincial-level governments over local education, the comprehensive reform of colleges and universities, as well as the reform of the school examination and enrollment systems.
We will move more quickly to help all schools providing compulsory education to meet standards, and improve basic conditions in boarding schools and schools that are poorly built and operated. We will implement the policy of enabling the children of migrant workers to receive compulsory education in the cities and towns where they and their parents live and improve policies that enable them to continue on into secondary and college education.
We will work to comprehensively promote the development of a modern vocational education system. We will guide a number of local undergraduate institutions to transform themselves into applied colleges. We will support the development of higher education in the central and western regions by offering them assistance through pairing programs, and continue to raise the admission rate for those taking the college entrance exams in the central and western regions and in provinces with larger populations. We will work to develop world-class universities and disciplines.
We will strengthen education for those with special learning needs, preschool education, continuing education, and all types of education in areas with concentrations of ethnic minorities. We will work to promote the healthy development of privately run educational institutions. We will strengthen the workforce of teachers. In order to provide good education, we must guarantee funding and ensure that every yuan is well spent. We should clear any obstructions to upwards mobility for students from rural or poor areas, and ensure that each and every person has the opportunity to change their life through education.
We will work more quickly to improve the basic medical and healthcare systems.
We will improve basic medical insurance for rural and non-working urban residents, and increase the annual government subsidy for this insurance from 320 yuan to 380 yuan per person. We will basically complete the task of enabling on-the-spot settlement of medical expenses incurred anywhere within the provincial-level administrative area where one' s insurance is registered, and steadily work toward enabling retirees to have their medical expenses settled on the spot in whichever provincial-level administrative area they are living. We will fully implement the major disease insurance scheme for rural and non-working urban residents.
We will work to deepen the comprehensive reform of community-level medical and healthcare institutions, strengthen the general practitioner system, and improve the system of tiered diagnosis and treatment. We will fully implement the comprehensive reform of county-level public hospitals, and trial public hospital reform in 100 cities at or above the prefecture level. We will put a stop to the practice of charging more for medicines to make up for low prices for medical services, lower extortionate prices on medicines, make appropriate adjustments to medical service prices, and take measures such as reforming medical insurance payouts to control costs of medical services, thereby lightening the burden that medical expenses place on people.
We will encourage doctors to practice in community-level clinics in addition to their regular practice and help the development of nongovernmental hospitals. We will launch comprehensive pilot projects for deepening medical reform at the provincial level. We will move faster in setting up mechanisms for preempting and mediating medical disputes. We will increase the annual subsidy for government expenditures on basic public health services from 35 yuan to 40 yuan per capita, with the entire additional sum to be used for paying for rural doctors to provide basic public health services; this will allow large numbers of rural residents to enjoy better access to local medical services.
We will strengthen the prevention and control of major diseases. We will actively develop traditional Chinese medicine and the traditional medicine of ethnic minorities, and advance the reform of family planning services and the way they are managed. Good health is a basic public necessity, so we must work consistently to raise the standard of medical and healthcare services to create a healthy China.
We will ensure cultural development produces more and greater fruits for people to enjoy.
Culture is the lifeblood of a nation and a source of innovation. We will put into practice core socialist values and promote fine traditional Chinese culture. We will encourage philosophy and the social sciences to flourish and promote the development of literature and art; the press and publishing; radio, television, and film; archiving; and other cultural programs. We will work to protect cultural relics and intangible cultural heritage.
We will ensure that more outstanding works of literature and art are created for the people to enjoy, and encourage a love of reading in all our people, build a learning society, and improve the overall caliber of the population. We will deepen structural reform of the cultural sector. We will make steady progress in providing basic public cultural services in a standard and equitable way, allow free admission to more public cultural facilities, ensure multipurpose cultural service centers play a key role in local communities, and promote the integrated development of traditional and emerging media.
We will expand cultural exchanges with other countries and improve our ability to communicate effectively with international audiences. We will develop public fitness programs, competitive sports, and the sports industry, and work toward putting in a strong bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
We will strengthen and make innovations in social governance.
We will deepen reform of the management of social organizations, and accelerate efforts to untie industry associations and chambers of commerce from any connections they may have with the government. We will support the participation of popular organizations in social governance in accordance with the law. We will develop specialized social work, volunteer services, and charities. We will encourage the opening of nongovernmental elderly care facilities, and develop community-based and at-home elderly care.
We will provide support and services for children, women, and older people who remain in rural areas while their family members move to work in urban areas, establish a system of social protection for minors, and safeguard the rights and interests of women and children. We will improve our ability to prevent and handle public emergencies and to prevent, respond to, and mitigate disasters. We will ensure that work in seismology, meteorology, surveying, mapping, and geology is all carried out to good effect.
We will make intensive efforts to increase public awareness of the rule of law, improve the effectiveness of people' s mediation, and improve the system of legal aid. We will ensure that potential risks which major policy decisions may pose to social stability are fully assessed so as to effectively prevent and resolve social conflicts. We will ensure that the handling of public complaints filed through letters and visits is brought into line with the rule of law, and see to it that all justified complaints and demands are resolved promptly and locally.
We will uphold law and order in China; improve the multidimensional system for crime prevention and control; punish violent terrorism, pornography, gambling, drug abuse and trafficking, cult activity, smuggling, and other illegal activities in accordance with the law; develop and regulate cyberspace; and ensure national and public security. Life is priceless; we must take stronger measures to ensure workplace safety in all fields, and ensure food and medicine safety throughout the production process.
We will fight to win the battle of conserving energy, reducing emissions, and improving the environment.
Environmental pollution is a blight on people's quality of life and a trouble that weighs on their hearts. We must fight it with all our might. This year, we will cut the intensity of carbon dioxide by at least 3.1%, reduce both chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen emissions by around 2%, and reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by around 3% and 5% respectively.
We will fully implement the action plan for preventing and controlling air pollution; carry out coordinated inter-regional prevention and control efforts; make the use of coal cleaner and more efficient, upgrade coal-burning power plants to achieve ultra-low emissions; and strive for zero-growth in the consumption of coal in key areas of the country.
We will promote the use of new-energy vehicles, reduce vehicle exhaust emissions, raise the national production standards for and improve the quality of fuel, and provide motor gasoline and diesel fuel that meets National-V standards to all key cities in key areas. This year we will remove from the roads all high-emission commercial vehicles registered before the end of 2005.
We will actively respond to climate change and expand the trials for trading carbon emissions rights. We will implement the action plan for preventing and controlling water pollution; strengthen control over pollution in rivers, lakes, seas, water pollution sources, and pollution from nonpoint agricultural sources; and ensure the safety of drinking water by carrying out oversight over the whole process, from the source to the tap.
We will strengthen the prevention and control of soil pollution. We will introduce third party governance in the handling of environmental pollution. We will work on the legislation for environmental protection tax. We must strictly enforce environmental laws and regulations; crack down on those guilty of creating illegal emissions and ensure they pay a heavy price for such offenses; and hold those who allow illegal emissions to account, punishing them accordingly.
Revolution in energy generation and consumption is vital to any country's development and to the wellbeing of its people. In China, we will put great weight behind the development of wind power, photovoltaic power, and biomass energy, work actively to develop hydropower, stress safety in developing nuclear power, and exploit and utilize shale gas and coal seam gas.
We will set a ceiling on total energy consumption and strengthen energy conservation in key areas such as manufacturing, transportation, and construction. We will work hard to develop a circular economy and promote the recovery of resources from industrial and household waste. There is enormous potential in China' s market for energy conservation and environmental protection; we will develop the energy conservation and environmental protection industry into a new pillar of the economy.
Forests, grasslands, rivers, and wetlands are ecological riches and gifts of nature that we must take greater care to cherish. We will carry out major ecological projects; extend key eco-function zones; work to establish zones that demonstrate best practices for promoting a sound ecology; carry out pilot projects to improve the overall condition of rivers; expand the trial of having localities situated on the upper and lower reaches of river basins compensate each other for their impact on water quality; and ensure the sources of the Yangtze, Yellow, and Lancang rivers are effectively preserved. We will expand the areas of natural forests under protection, and work in a planned way to put a stop to commercial logging in these forests. This year, we will return an additional 666,667 hectares of marginal farmland back to forest or grassland, and afforest 6 million more hectares of land.
In ecological protection, progress comes only through action, and success only through persistence. We must take a firm and unrelenting approach in this work, to ensure we always have blue skies, lucid waters, and sustainable development.