By Zhang Yi
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) 70 years ago, China has maintained sound social security and stability while developing into the world’s second largest economy, receiving high appraisal from the international community.
There are many reasons for such long-term social security and stability of China, and the country’s efforts to guarantee and improve people’s livelihood are a major contributor.
The fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) requested the party to adhere to the vision of making development people-centered, and continuously guarantee and improve people’s livelihoods and improve people’s wellbeing so as to achieve common prosperity for everyone.
When people embrace common prosperity, live and work in content and security and share the achievements of reform and development, the practices threatening social security, such as violent crimes, would be largely reduced.
Since the founding of the PRC, especially the implementation of the reform and opening-up policy, the CPC, leading the Chinese people, has blazed a development path that suits China’s actual conditions. It created and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, transforming China from a country of basic survival to a world development miracle.
The implementation of the rural household responsibility contract system has substantially motivated farmers and improved the efficiency of agricultural production. It has not only helped produce sufficient food for the world’s most populous country, but also largely reduced the labor force needed per unit of farmland, freeing many farmers from the arduous agricultural work.
With the in-depth development of the reform and opening-up, China started reforming the operation and management system of state owned enterprises (SOEs).
Meanwhile, it steadfastly promoted the non-public sector of its economy, promoting the transition of its economy system from the highly-centralized planned economy towards the vital and energetic socialist market economy. Thanks to the transition, China witnessed huge increase in social productivity and rapid upgrade of industrial structure.
The upgraded industrial structure brought changes to employment distribution, which freed labor force from rural regions for new job opportunities. As a result, the number and ratio of people working in secondary and tertiary industries surged.
This has exerted profound impact on China’s efforts to safeguard social security and stability, advanced urbanization, and optimized social structure.
Besides, by making universal the nine-year compulsory education and expanding enrollment of universities, China has both trained a larger number of high-quality talents, and nurtured a huge educated group. They enjoy more job opportunities with higher income, and effectively contribute to the expansion of the middle-income group.
The optimization of industrial structure and constant social development enable everyone to have the opportunity to acquire higher income through employment. In addition, the smoother social mobility also guarantees broad development opportunities for all members of the society and the continuous expansion of the middle-income group, laying a solid foundation for social security and stability.
China adheres to ensuring and improving living standards along with its development. It has successfully promoted reform of its social security system, building a social security system that covers the most people in the world, including endowment insurance, medical insurance and basic living allowance.
The basic endowment insurance covers over 900 million people, and the medical insurance 1.3 billion people. The social security system ensures that all the country’s people enjoy their rights to medical and old-age care during social transition, and reduced the income gap. It increased people’s sense of happiness and security, contributing to social order and stability.
Development is the CPC’s top priority in governance, and reform injects strong power into China’s development. China will take full advantage of its basic socialist economic system, and adhere to people-centered development and reform and opening-up, so as to meet the people’s increasing needs for a better life, promote well-rounded human development and achieve common prosperity for everyone.
This explains why China can always find effective solutions to possible contradictions during social transition, and maintain long-term social security and stability.
(Zhang Yi is director of the National Institute of Social Development, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
Source: People’s Daily