China outlines biggest welfare achievements of past five years

19th CPC National Congress

At the 19th CPC National Congress, leaders in education, civil affairs, social security, housing and healthcare outlined efforts to improve livelihoods across the country. They said China seeks ‘balance,’ so that the same healthcare and educational opportunities will be available in both rural and urban areas alike.

CGTN’s Wang Hui has more.

At a two-hour briefing, officials outlined some of what they consider to be the biggest achievements of the last five years. Among those achievements is the expansion of basic medical insurance to cover 1.3 billion people, the creation of 65 million jobs, and educational opportunities for 90 percent of disabled children.

China is still facing major challenges, however, with 230 million people over the age of 60, making up nearly 1/5 of the population.

But the Minister of Civil Affairs said they are making progress in providing better facilities for those senior citizens.

 “28,000 elderly care homes with nearly seven million beds have been registered across the country,” according to Huang Shuxian. “Elderly care service facilities are available in all  urban communities and in over half of China’s rural communities.”

Unbalanced educational resources also pose a challenge to the country. The unevenness between urban and rural areas, and even among different districts of individual cities, stand out.

The Minister of Education talked about measures undertaken to tackle this issue.

“The basic focus of our policies is to provide benefits to rural areas, to poor performing schools, to less privileged areas, and to people with economic difficulties,” Chen Baosheng said.

The minister also laid out goals for 2020: an 85 percent gross enrollment rate in three-year kindergarten, and 90 percent in high-schools.

In the work report, General Secretary Xi Jinping alluded to this evolution of China’s “principle contradiction” between the country’s unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing need for a better life. The Party said it will search for more sustainable ways to advance human development.

Fred Teng discusses Chinese education, anti-poverty, and other initiatives

Improving citizens’ lives has been a big goal for the Chinese Communist Party. The Party has made great strides in recent years, expanding access to healthcare, education, and other social services, but still faces many challenges. Fred Teng, president of the America China Public Affairs Institute, joins CGTN’s Wang Guan to discuss.