Eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is the foun­da­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - DOC­U­MENT - Over­all De­vel­op­ment Plans Spe­cial Ac­tion Plans The Ju­di­cial Rem­edy Mech­a­nism

To achieve the Two Cen­te­nary Goals, the CPC strives to pro­mote co­or­di­nated progress in eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal, cul­tural, so­cial, and eco­log­i­cal ar­eas, and to im­ple­ment the Four-pronged Com­pre­hen­sive Strat­egy, viz., build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects, driv­ing re­form to a deeper-level, fully im­ple­ment­ing the rule of law, and strength­en­ing Party dis­ci­pline. Based on eco­nomic growth, the Party will con­tinue to build the so­cial­ist mar­ket econ­omy, pro­mote democ­racy, ad­vanced cul­ture, eco­log­i­cal progress, and a har­mo­nious so­ci­ety, and en­sure that the peo­ple are bet­ter-off, that the na­tion grows stronger and more pros­per­ous, and that the en­vi­ron­ment is clean and beau­ti­ful, and that the peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment is pro­tected and pro­moted in a more solid and ef­fec­tive man­ner.

In ac­cor­dance with the goal to build a mod­ern so­cial­ist coun­try and the as­so­ci­ated de­vel­op­ment strate­gies, the Chi­nese govern­ment reg­u­larly makes na­tional de­vel­op­ment plans to en­sure the peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment. In the pe­riod between 1953 and 2001, it is­sued na­tional de­vel­op­ment plans ev­ery five years ad­dress­ing is­sues con­cern­ing the coun­try’s econ­omy, cul­ture, and so­ci­ety. After 2006 the plan has been changed to pro­gram which is less de­tailed, with fewer nu­mer­i­cal tar­gets to guide the macro-econ­omy and so­cial de­vel­op­ment. To date China has made 13 con­sec­u­tive five-year plans (in­clud­ing the pro­gram start­ing from 2016) for the na­tion’s eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment. These plans have con­nected the coun­try’s over­all de­vel­op­ment goals to the con­crete plans to im­ple­ment them, and are di­vided into dif­fer­ent stages to steadily pro­mote the peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment, with mid- and long-term guide­lines, goals and direc­tions, ba­sic re­quire­ments, and spe­cific mea­sures.

On Oc­to­ber 29, 2015, the Fifth Ple­nary Ses­sion of the 18th CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee ap­proved the “Sug­ges­tions of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee on De­vel­op­ing the 13th Five-Year Pro­gram for Na­tional Eco­nomic and So­cial De­vel­op­ment.” On March 16, 2016, the Fourth Ses­sion of the 12th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Con­gress ap­proved by vote the “Out­line of the 13th Five-Year De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China for Na­tional Eco­nomic and So­cial De­vel­op­ment.” Fol­low­ing the new philoso­phies on de­vel­op­ment and based on uni­ver­sal par­tic­i­pa­tion and ben­e­fits, China stresses equal op­por­tu­ni­ties, with an em­pha­sis on en­sur­ing ba­sic liv­ing stan­dards, im­prov­ing the peo­ple’s well­be­ing, and re­al­iz­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety for all the peo­ple. China has made break­throughs in equal ac­cess to the fruits of de­vel­op­ment, mainly in in­creas­ing the sup­ply of pub­lic ser­vices, car­ry­ing out poverty erad­i­ca­tion pro­grams, en­hanc­ing the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion, grant­ing equal ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tional re­sources, pro­mot­ing em­ploy­ment and en­trepreneur­ship, bridg­ing the in­come gap, es­tab­lish­ing a fairer and more sus­tain­able so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem, en­hanc­ing pub­lic health and fit­ness, and strength­en­ing the bal­anced de­vel­op­ment of the peo­ple.

China en­sures its peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment also by mak­ing na­tional hu­man rights ac­tion plans. It has is­sued the “Na­tional Hu­man Rights Ac­tion Plan” (2009-2010), (2012-2015), and (2016-2020). In these plans, the govern­ment puts the peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment at the core of hu­man rights, and strives to ad­dress the most im­me­di­ate prob­lems that are of the most con­cern to the pub­lic. While pro­mot­ing the sound and rapid de­vel­op­ment of the econ­omy and so­ci­ety, China en­sures that all mem­bers of the so­ci­ety en­joy the rights to equal par­tic­i­pa­tion and equal de­vel­op­ment.

The Chi­nese govern­ment for­mu­lates spe­cial ac­tion plans in the fields of econ­omy, cul­ture, so­ci­ety, and en­vi­ron­ment to en­sure peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment. It has im­ple­mented a wide ar­ray of ac­tion plans in ar­eas such as poverty al­le­vi­a­tion, the In­ter­net, in­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship, science and tech­nol­ogy, trade, and re­gional de­vel­op­ment. Specif­i­cally, these plans have been de­signed to pro­mote en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion among farm­ers, to send agri­cul­tural spe­cial­ists to ru­ral ar­eas to de­velop agri­cul­ture, to de­velop ru­ral and agri­cul­tural re­sources in sup­port of ru­ral mi­grant work­ers who re­turn to their home vil­lages to start busi­nesses, to im­prove peo­ple’s lives by de­vel­op­ing high-tech in­dus­tries in se­lected coun­ties, to trans­form the growth model of the western ar­eas through science and tech­nol­ogy, and to re­vi­tal­ize the old in­dus­trial bases in the North­east through science and tech­nol­ogy. The state has ef­fec­tively im­ple­mented a se­ries of ac­tion plans re­gard­ing ed­u­ca­tional de­vel­op­ment, health im­prove­ment, awards for high-cal­iber pro­fes­sion­als, and the cul­tural in­dus­try, such as the ac­tion plans to re­vi­tal­ize ed­u­ca­tion in the 21st cen­tury, to en­hance teach­ers’ sta­tus in the stage of com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion in ru­ral ar­eas, to pro­mote spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion, to help girls who have dropped out of school to re­turn to cam­pus, and to sup­port the more de­vel­oped cities in the east­ern ar­eas to train pro­fes­sion­als for the western ar­eas. China has im­ple­mented a se­ries of ac­tion plans re­gard­ing em­ploy­ment, so­cial se­cu­rity, food and med­i­cal care, dis­abil­ity pre­ven­tion, and health and fit­ness, such as the Spring Breeze Ac­tion Plan to pro­mote em­ploy­ment, and other plans to re­al­ize full cov­er­age of so­cial se­cu­rity, to elim­i­nate malaria, to pre­vent and con­trol noso­co­mial in­fec­tion, to carry out re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grams for chil­dren with im­pair­ments and dis­abil­i­ties, to re­duce the num­ber of new­borns with de­fects and dis­abil­i­ties, to pre­vent in­ci­dences of dis­abil­ity, and to im­prove the nu­tri­tional sta­tus and fit­ness of the Chi­nese.

The state has is­sued ac­tion plans on pol­lu­tion pre­ven­tion and con­trol, en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, and bio­di­ver­sity, such as ac­tion plans to pre­vent and con­trol wa­ter pol­lu­tion, to re­duce high-risk pol­lu­tants, to uti­lize coal in a clean and ef­fi­cient man­ner, to up­grade and ren­o­vate coal power for en­ergy sav­ing and emis­sions re­duc­tion, to build ob­sta­cle­free cities or coun­ties for the dis­abled, and to pro­tect bio­di­ver­sity.

China has also made spe­cial plans to en­sure the right to de­vel­op­ment of eth­nic mi­nori­ties, women, chil­dren, the el­derly, and the dis­abled. The plans in­clude those on the de­vel­op­ment of eth­nic mi­nori­ties, of women, of chil­dren, of the el­derly, and of the dis­abled per­sons, with clear goals and tar­geted poli­cies for dif­fer­ent groups to solve the prob­lems hin­der­ing their de­vel­op­ment, en­sur­ing that they can pur­sue self­de­vel­op­ment and en­joy the fruits of re­form on an equal ba­sis.

China is mak­ing en­hanced ef­forts to strengthen the ju­di­cial pro­tec­tion and rem­edy to en­sure the peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment. It has built a ju­di­cial rem­edy mech­a­nism in this re­gard to pre­vent and pun­ish in­fringe­ments of peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment.

The govern­ment is driv­ing the re­form of the ju­di­cial re­lief sys­tem to a deeper level to en­sure the right to de­vel­op­ment of dis­ad­van­taged groups. The state pro­vides ju­di­cial re­lief to vic­tims of crimes or par­ties suf­fer­ing from in­fringe­ments of civil rights who can­not ob­tain ef­fec­tive com­pen­sa­tion through lit­i­ga­tion, and pro­vides help to par­ties in cer­tain types of cases who are in dire need of re­lief and are en­ti­tled to such re­lief. Eli­gi­ble par­ties mainly re­ceive re­lief money, and help in the forms of con­sul­ta­tion and ed­u­ca­tion. Ju­di­cial re­lief com­ple­ments le­gal aid and lit­i­ga­tion re­lief, and is linked with other forms of so­cial re­lief and aid. The govern­ment is con­duct­ing re­search on open­ing first-aid fast track at hos­pi­tals for those in­jured in crim­i­nal cases, pro­vid­ing psy­chother­apy for vic­tims with se­vere PTSD cases, and send­ing so­cial work­ers to help im­mo­bi­lized vic­tims, so as to fur­ther en­hance ju­di­cial re­lief. In 2014 the state is­sued the “Opin­ions on Es­tab­lish­ing and Im­prov­ing the Na­tional Ju­di­cial Re­lief Sys­tem (trial),” which was fol­lowed by a marked ex­pan­sion in the scale and in­creases in the num­ber of ju­di­cial re­lief cases. In 2014 and 2015, the cen­tral govern­ment and lo­cal govern­ments al­lo­cated a to­tal of RMB2.47 bil­lion and RMB2.95 bil­lion for ju­di­cial re­lief funds, ben­e­fit­ing over 80,000 par­ties con­cerned in 2014. In 2013-2015 peo­ple’s courts at all lev­els re­duced or ex­empted a to­tal of RMB625 mil­lion for lit­i­ga­tion par­ties, en­sur­ing the right to lit­i­ga­tion of the poor.

The govern­ment strives to strengthen the ef­fec­tive­ness of le­gal aid, and en­sures the right of im­pov­er­ished peo­ple to ju­di­cial re­lief. In 1994, China be­gan to form a le­gal aid sys­tem, pro­vid­ing free con­sul­ta­tion, agency, crim­i­nal de­fense, and other le­gal ser­vices to peo­ple in need. In 2003, the State Coun­cil is­sued the Reg­u­la­tions on Le­gal Aid to de­fine the scale of le­gal aid, dele- gat­ing the power to the peo­ple’s govern­ments of prov­inces, au­tonomous re­gions, and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties di­rectly un­der the cen­tral govern­ment to sup­ple­ment the is­sues to be cov­ered by le­gal aid, and set the stan­dards for re­ceiv­ing le­gal aid in light of the lo­cal con­di­tions. Cur­rently there are 23 prov­inces that have ex­panded the scope of is­sues cov­ered by le­gal aid, and 19 prov­inces have ad­justed the stan­dards for re­ceiv­ing le­gal aid. The Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­du­ral Law (re­vised in 2012) in­cluded sus­pects as re­cip­i­ents of le­gal aid, along­side de­fen­dants. Over the past five years, the num­ber of le­gal aid cases has been grow­ing by 11.4 per­cent an­nu­ally, and women, chil­dren, the el­derly, the dis­abled, and ru­ral mi­grant work­ers have re­ceived timely and higher qual­ity le­gal aid ser­vices. In May 2015, at its 12th meet­ing, the CPC Cen­tral Lead­ing Group for Over­all and Fur­ther Re­forms re­viewed and ap­proved the “Opin­ions on Im­prov­ing the Le­gal Aid Sys­tem,” with mea­sures to fur­ther en­large the cov­er­age of le­gal aid for civil and ad­min­is­tra­tive law­suits, re­duce the thresh­olds for re­ceiv­ing le­gal aid, and grad­u­ally make le­gal aid avail­able to low-in­come groups to ben­e­fit peo­ple in need. The govern­ment strength­ens ju­di­cial rem­edy to pro­tect the right to de­vel­op­ment of dis­ad­van­taged groups. China has al­ways at­tached im­por­tance to the ju­di­cial pro­tec­tion of the right to de­vel­op­ment and other ba­sic hu­man rights in crim­i­nal cases. The state pun­ishes crimes tar­geted at women, chil­dren, the el­derly, the dis­abled, and ru­ral mi­grant work­ers, and strength­ens the pro­tec­tion of spe­cial groups’ rights to healthy phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and their eco­nomic and so­cial rights. The govern­ment strives to pre­vent or se­verely pun­ish the ab­duc­tion and traf­fick­ing of women and chil­dren, and such crimes have been ef­fec­tively curbed. The state has is­sued the “Opin­ions on Pu­n­ish­ing Sex Crimes Against Mi­nors” and the “Opin­ions on Han­dling the In­fringe­ments of Mi­nors’ Rights and In­ter­ests by Guardians,” so as to en­hance the ju­di­cial pro­tec­tion of mi­nors’ rights and in­ter­ests. The state has pro­mul­gated the “Opin­ions on Safe­guard­ing the Le­git­i­mate Rights and In­ter­ests of Dis­abled Per­sons in Procu­ra­to­rial Work,” man­dat­ing se­vere pun­ish­ment for crimes that in­fringe upon the rights and in­ter­ests of dis­abled peo­ple in ac­cor­dance with the law.

The govern­ment at­taches im­por­tance to the role of ar­bi­tra­tion, and pro­tects the equal right to de­vel­op­ment of cer­tain groups. By end­ing dis­putes through ar­bi­tra­tion and pu­n­ish­ing in­fringe­ments ac­cord­ing to law, China en­deav­ors to strengthen pro­ce­dure-based pro­tec­tion of the peo­ple’s rights. By the end of 2015, 80 per­cent of town­ship- and com­mu­nity-level em­ploy­ment and so­cial se­cu­rity cen­ters had set up or­ga­ni­za­tions to me­di­ate la­bor dis­putes, up by 14 per­cent from the 2014 fig­ure. A to­tal of 2,919 ad­min­is­tra­tive di­vi­sions at or above county level (about 91 per­cent of the to­tal) had ar­bi­tra­tion of­fices for la­bor dis­putes, up by 208 per­cent com­pared with the fig­ure of 946 at the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan pe­riod (2006-2010). In 2010-2015, China’s me­di­a­tion and ar­bi­tra­tion or­ga­ni­za­tions han­dled a to­tal of 7.57 mil­lion cases, bring­ing 90 per­cent to a con­clu­sion.

III. Ef­fec­tively Re­al­iz­ing Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment

China al­ways con­sid­ers eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment as the cen­tral task, lay­ing a solid foun­da­tion for safe­guard­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment. At the same time eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is strength­ened by safe­guard­ing the peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment. Since the re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy was launched in 1978, China has wit­nessed rapid eco­nomic growth, and has be­come the world’s sec­ond largest econ­omy. There have been two his­toric leaps in liv­ing stan­dards, from liv­ing in poverty to hav­ing ac­cess to ba­sic ma­te­rial needs, and then to mod­er­ate pros­per­ity.

The right to sub­sis­tence of the poor is ef­fec­tively guar­an­teed. The poverty re­duc­tion cam­paign in China is the most sig­nif­i­cant sign of China’s progress in hu­man rights. Since the end of 1978, China has re­al­ized “the most rapid large-scale poverty re­duc­tion in hu­man his­tory over the last 25 years.”[Note: “Re­duc­ing Poverty on a Global Scale: Learn­ing and In­no­vat­ing for De­vel­op­ment Find­ings from the Shang­hai Global Learn­ing Ini­tia­tive,” a World Bank doc­u­ment on Nov. 14, 2016.] Ac­cord­ing to the ex­ist­ing ru­ral poverty stan­dards, it has re­duced the num­ber of those liv­ing in poverty by more than 700 mil­lion, which is more than the to­tal pop­u­la­tion of the United States, Rus­sia, Ja­pan and Ger­many, and cut the rate of poverty to 5.7 per­cent, be­com­ing the first coun­try to com­plete the United Na­tions Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals. By the end of 2015, the num­ber of ru­ral peo­ple liv­ing in poverty had fallen to 55.75 mil­lion. In the five au­tonomous re­gions of In­ner Mon­go­lia, Guangxi, Ti­bet, Ningxia and Xin­jiang, and in the prov­inces of Guizhou, Yun­nan, and Qing­hai, where eth­nic mi­nori­ties are con­cen­trated, the num­ber of ru­ral peo­ple liv­ing in poverty had fallen to 18.13 mil­lion. China’s poverty re­duc­tion cam­paign has ef­fec­tively con­trib­uted to grant­ing its dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple the right to de­vel­op­ment, lay­ing a solid foun­da­tion for the build­ing of a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects. In Novem­ber 2015, the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and the State Coun­cil is­sued the “De­ci­sion on Win­ning the Tough Bat­tle Against Poverty,” mak­ing com­pre­hen­sive ar­range­ments for poverty erad­i­ca­tion work in the fol­low­ing five years. In March 2016, the “Out­line of the 13th Five-Year Pro­gram for the Na­tional Eco­nomic and So­cial De­vel­op­ment of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China” was pub­lished, in which the Chi­nese govern­ment made strate­gic plans for the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the over­all goal of poverty erad­i­ca­tion. In or­der to re­al­ize the am­bi­tious goal of re­liev­ing the ru­ral poor pop­u­la­tion of poverty by 2020, China is car­ry­ing out a ba­sic strat­egy of tar­geted poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and tar­geted poverty erad­i­ca­tion.

The right to work is fully re­al­ized. Eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment cre­ates more jobs. Ur­ban and ru­ral em­ploy­ment con­tin­ued to in­crease from 761 mil­lion in 2010 to 775 mil­lion in 2015. Within these fig­ures, ur­ban em­ploy­ment in­creased from 347 mil­lion to 404 mil­lion, rep­re­sent­ing an av­er­age an­nual in­crease of more than 11 mil­lion. In 2015 ur­ban em­ploy­ment in­creased by 13.12 mil­lion, and the reg­is­tered ur­ban un­em­ploy­ment rate by the end of the year was 4.05 per­cent, show­ing steady progress in this work. From 2008 to 2015, the cen­tral govern­ment as­signed a to­tal of RMB305.51 bil­lion as sub­si­dies to be used in em­ploy­ment. Since 2009, the Chi­nese govern­ment has im­ple­mented a pol­icy of fi­nan­cial dis­count for small-sum guar­an­teed loans to women. By June 2016, a to­tal of RMB279.4 bil­lion in loans had been pro­vided to 5.38 mil­lion women, sup­port­ing more than 10 mil­lion, in­clud­ing women clas­si­fied as poor, to start their own busi­nesses or find work. The num­ber of women in em­ploy­ment has in­creased con­tin­u­ously and their po­si­tions have im­proved. In 2014, em­ployed women ac­counted for 45 per­cent of the to­tal work­force in China, and fe­male pro­fes­sional and tech­ni­cal per­son­nel ac­counted for 46.5 per­cent of the na­tional to­tal. The govern­ment strength­ens skill train­ing to pro­mote more eq­ui­table shar­ing of job op­por­tu­ni­ties through ca­pac­ity-build­ing. By the end of 2015, the to­tal num­ber of skilled work­ers in the coun­try had reached 167 mil­lion, of whom 45.01 mil­lion were highly skilled. The govern­ment ac­tively pro­motes trans­fer of the ru­ral la­bor force to em­ploy­ment in lo­cal or nearby places, en­sur­ing that 65 per­cent can find em­ploy­ment within the lo­cal county econ­omy. The govern­ment vig­or­ously de­vel­ops the ser­vice in­dus­try, cre­at­ing jobs for ru­ral mi­grant work­ers, and set­ting up farm­ers’ mar­kets and food stalls with re­duced or zero fees. As a re­sult, more than 80 per­cent of ru­ral mi­grant work­ers have found jobs in small and mi­cro busi­nesses. The govern­ment also en­cour­ages ru­ral mi­grant work­ers to re­turn home and start busi­nesses. By the end of 2015, 4.5 mil­lion ru­ral mi­grant work­ers had re­turned home to start busi­nesses, and ru­ral small and mi­cro busi­nesses amounted to 6.99 mil­lion. By the end of 2014, China had 15.46 mil­lion pri­vate en­ter­prises, and nearly 50 mil­lion self-em­ployed busi­nesses, rep­re­sent­ing in­creases of 83 per­cent and 44 per­cent over 2010; these busi­nesses em­ployed 250 mil­lion peo­ple. In­ter­net en­trepreneur­ship has helped nearly 10 mil­lion peo­ple find em­ploy­ment, and “In­ter­net+” is an im­por­tant chan­nel for cre­at­ing jobs. The govern­ment takes mea­sures to guide grad­u­ates to find em­ploy­ment through mul­ti­ple chan­nels, en­cour­age en­trepreneur­ship, and of­fer bet­ter em­ploy­ment ser­vices to grad­u­ates and give more as­sis­tance to those ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in find­ing jobs. In re­cent years, the em­ploy­ment rate of new col­lege grad­u­ates has been above 70 per­cent ev­ery year, and the over­all em­ploy­ment rate at the end of the year has ex­ceeded 90 per­cent. By aid­ing en­ter­prises, and of­fer­ing em­ploy­ment sup­port and as­sis­tance, the govern­ment helps un­em­ployed per­sons and peo­ple hav­ing dif­fi­culty in se­cur­ing jobs to find em­ploy­ment, and de­votes par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to zero-em­ploy­ment fam­i­lies. From 2011 to 2015, more than 5.5 mil­lion un­em­ployed ur­ban peo­ple found jobs ev­ery year, while an an­nual av­er­age of al­most 1.8 mil­lion peo­ple hav­ing dif­fi­culty in se­cur­ing jobs found em­ploy­ment. Steady progress has been made in the em­ploy­ment of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. Dur­ing the 12th Five-Year Pro­gram pe­riod (2011-2015), the govern­ment helped 1.52 mil­lion ur­ban res­i­dents with dis­abil­i­ties to find jobs. In 2015, 21,596,300 dis­abled peo­ple of work­ing age across the coun­try found jobs. The peo­ple’s ba­sic liv­ing stan­dards have greatly im­proved. In 1978, the En­gel co­ef­fi­cient of ur­ban house­holds was 57.5 per­cent and that of ru­ral house­holds was 67.7 per­cent; in 2015, the fig­ures dropped to 29.7 per­cent and 33.0 per­cent re­spec­tively. From 1978 to 2015, ur­ban res­i­dents saw an in­crease in their res­i­den­tial area from 6.7 square me­ters per capita to more than 33 square me­ters; the cor­re­spond­ing fig­ures for ru­ral res­i­dents were 8.1 square me­ters to more than 37 square me­ters. A hous­ing se­cu­rity sys­tem with govern­ment-sup­ported low-rent hous­ing and eco­nom­i­cally af­ford­able hous­ing as the main forms is in place. In 2015, the na­tional in­vest­ment in res­i­den­tial build­ings reached RMB8,024.77 bil­lion. Within this pro­gram, 7.72 mil­lion units of govern­ment-sub­si­dized ur­ban hous­ing were com­pleted, and con­struc­tion on an­other 7.83 mil­lion units al­ready started. The cen­tral govern­ment pro­vided RMB36.5 bil­lion to sub­si­dize the ren­o­va­tion of sub­stan­dard houses for 4.32 mil­lion poor ru­ral house­holds around China. From 2011 to 2015, un­der the govern­ment-sub­si­dized ur­ban hous­ing project, China built a to­tal of 40.13 mil­lion new units, ren­o­vated 21.91 mil­lion house­holds in shan­ty­towns, and moved a large num­ber of peo­ple with hous­ing dif­fi­cul­ties into apart­ments, re­al­iz­ing “liv­able” res­i­dences. From 2011 to 2015, pub­lic fi­nance at all lev­els sub­si­dized bar­rier-free re­con­struc­tion for 675,000 fam­i­lies with dis­abled mem­bers, im­prov­ing their qual­ity of life.

Travel con­di­tions have greatly im­proved. From 1978 to 2015, high­ways in ser­vice rose from 890,000 km to 4.58 mil­lion km, and the civil avi­a­tion pas­sen­ger through­put grew from 2.32 mil­lion to 915 mil­lion. In 2015, the to­tal mileage of ex­press­ways open to traf­fic in China reached 123,500 km, the op­er­at­ing mileage of high-speed rail­ways reached 19,000 km. 94.5 per­cent of vil­lages had paved road ac­cess, and 94.3 per­cent of vil­lages had ac­cess to bus ser­vices.

The peo­ple’s liv­ing stan­dards have sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved. From 1978 to 2015, the an­nual GDP in­creased from RMB367.9 bil­lion to RMB68,550.6 bil­lion, and per capita GDP grew from more than US$200 to above US$8,000. In 1978, per capita dis­pos­able in­come of ur­ban house­holds was only RMB343.4, and per capita net in­come of ru­ral house­holds was only RMB133.6. In 2015, per capita dis­pos­able in­come of all res­i­dents reached RMB21,966; the fig­ures were RMB31,195 for ur­ban res­i­dents and RMB11,422 for ru­ral res­i­dents. By the end of 2015, the to­tal num­ber of phone users na­tion­wide reached 1,536.73 mil­lion, and 1,305.74 mil­lion of them were mo­bile phone users, with a pen­e­tra­tion rate of 95.5 per 100 peo­ple. There were 213.37 mil­lion house­holds with fixed broad­band In­ter­net ac­cess, and 785.33 mil­lion mo­bile broad­band users. The num­ber of In­ter­net users was 688 mil­lion, and the house­hold pen­e­tra­tion rate of fixed broad­band reached 50.3 per­cent. In 2015, Chi­nese res­i­dents made 127.86 mil­lion out­bound trips, in­clud­ing 121.72 mil­lion pri­vate trips. Civil­ian car own­er­ship was 95.08 mil­lion, of which 87.93 mil­lion were pri­vate cars.

IV. En­hanc­ing Po­lit­i­cal De­vel­op­ment

China con­tin­ues to en­rich and im­prove a po­lit­i­cal sys­tem suited to its own de­vel­op­ment by ad­vanc­ing Chi­nese so­cial­ist democ­racy and rule of law in an all-round way, en­sur­ing ef­fec­tive pro­tec­tion of civil and po­lit­i­cal rights, and rais­ing the lev­els of par­tic­i­pa­tion in and pro­mo­tion of the po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ment process and al­low­ing peo­ple to par­take in the ben­e­fits of po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ment.

The peo­ple’s con­gress sys­tem is the fun­da­men­tal in­sti­tu­tional guar­an­tee of po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ment for the peo­ple. Ac­cord­ing to the Con­sti­tu­tion, all power in the PRC be­longs to the peo­ple, and the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Con­gress (NPC) and the lo­cal peo­ple’s con­gresses at var­i­ous lev­els are the or­gans through which the peo­ple ex­er­cise state power. The peo­ple’s con­gress sys­tem guar­an­tees cit­i­zens’ rights to par­tic­i­pate in de­vel­op­ment and share the re­sult­ing ben­e­fits in five ways:

(1) Gen­er­at­ing and su­per­vis­ing state or­gans in­volved in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the right to de­vel­op­ment. Para­graph 3 of Ar­ti­cle 3 of the Con­sti­tu­tion states that all ad­min­is­tra­tive, ju­di­cial and procu­ra­to­rial or­gans of the state are cre­ated by the peo­ple’s con­gresses to which they are re­spon­si­ble and un­der whose su­per­vi­sion they op­er­ate.

(2) For­mu­lat­ing laws and reg­u­la­tions to fos­ter de­vel­op­ment. By Septem­ber 2016, the NPC and its Stand­ing Com­mit­tee had for­mu­lated the Con­sti­tu­tion and 252 laws in ef­fect. By July 2016, lo­cal peo­ple’s con­gresses and their stand­ing com­mit­tees with leg­isla­tive power had for­mu­lated 9,915 lo­cal reg­u­la­tions in ef­fect.

(3) Ex­am­in­ing and ap­prov­ing de­vel­op­ment pol­icy ini­tia­tives. Ar­ti­cle 62 of the Con­sti­tu­tion stip­u­lates that the NPC ex­er­cises the func­tions and pow­ers to ex­am­ine and ap­prove the plan for na­tional eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment and the re­port on its im­ple­men­ta­tion, and to ex­am­ine and ap­prove the state bud­get and the re­port on its im­ple­men­ta­tion, among oth­ers.

(4) Pro­vid­ing an open mech­a­nism for the ex­pres­sion of pub­lic opin­ion. Peo­ple ex­press and claim their rea­son­able de­vel­op­ment in­ter­ests by means such as the ex­er­cise of their rights to raise opin­ions, sug­ges­tions and crit­i­cism, to file ap­peals and com­plaints, and to su­per­vise.

(5) Prop­erly defin­ing the re­la­tion­ship between pub­lic power and de­vel­op­ment in­ter­ests.

In re­cent years China has in­tro­duced three ma­jor sys­tems that are of rel­e­vance - the power list, neg­a­tive list, and re­spon­si­bil­ity list. Since 2013 the State Coun­cil has pub­lished lists enu­mer­at­ing all mat­ters sub­ject to ad­min­is­tra­tive ap­proval by its de­part­ments, and pro­hib­ited the ad­di­tion of any un­listed mat­ters, with 618 mat­ters can­celed or del­e­gated to lower au­thor­i­ties. In this way, the State Coun­cil en­deav­ors to elim­i­nate op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­ploit­ing pub­lic posts for profit, and to en­hance the pro­ce­dures for the ex­er­cise of power.

Demo­cratic elec­tion is an im­por­tant el­e­ment of cit­i­zens’ po­lit­i­cal rights. Since the pol­icy of re­form and open­ing up was in­tro­duced in 1978, great progress has been made to­ward es­tab­lish­ing peo­ple’s democ­racy and an equal right to vote. In 2010, the NPC adopted an amend­ment to the Elec­toral Law pro­vid­ing wider equal­ity of vot­ing rights. Among other mea­sures it re­quires that deputies be elected to the peo­ple’s con­gresses based on the same pop­u­la­tion ra­tio in ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas. Between 2011 and 2012, the elec­tion of deputies to countylevel peo­ple’s con­gresses saw more than 981 mil­lion reg­is­tered vot­ers and a turnout rate of 90.24 per­cent; the elec­tion of deputies to town­ship-level peo­ple’s con­gresses recorded more than 723 mil­lion reg­is­tered vot­ers and a turnout rate of 90.55 per­cent. In these elec­tions, mea­sures were taken based on the con­di­tions in each con­stituency to en­sure the right to vote of the 200 mil­lion float­ing pop­u­la­tion, and to fa­cil­i­tate their vot­ing. The ba­sic prin­ci­ple was that vot­ers cast their votes in the con­stituen­cies where their reg­is­tered per­ma­nent res­i­dences are, while they may vote by proxy with a let­ter of en­trust­ment, and vot­ers who have their voter qual­i­fi­ca­tion cer­tifi­cates in the con­stituen­cies where their reg­is­tered per­ma­nent res­i­dences are may vote in the con­stituen­cies where they cur­rently live.

The 2,987 deputies elected in 2013 to the Third Ses­sion of the 12th NPC in­cluded 401 work­ers and farm­ers ac­count­ing for 13.42 per­cent, 699 women ac­count­ing for 23.4 per­cent, and 409 deputies from all the 55 eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups of China ac­count­ing for 13.69 per­cent.

Con­sul­ta­tive democ­racy is an im­por­tant chan­nel for or­derly par­tic­i­pa­tion in the po­lit­i­cal process. An ex­ten­sive, multi-lay­ered, in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized sys­tem of con­sul­ta­tive democ­racy in­clu­sive of mul­ti­ple par­ties, peo­ple’s con­gresses, govern­ments, peo­ple’s or­ga­ni­za­tions, the grass­roots, and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions has been cre­ated to ex­pand or­derly par­tic­i­pa­tion in the po­lit­i­cal process and en­sure the cit­i­zen’s right to de­vel­op­ment.

The Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence (CP­PCC) is an es­sen­tial or­gan for im­ple­ment­ing con­sul­ta­tive democ­racy, in­volv­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of nine po­lit­i­cal par­ties in­clud­ing the CPC, eight peo­ple’s or­ga­ni­za­tions, 56 eth­nic groups, five ma­jor re­li­gions and 34 sec­tors of so­ci­ety. The CP­PCC has more than 3,000 com­mit­tees and over 600,000 mem­bers at all lev­els. In 2015, the CP­PCC or­ga­nized 41 ma­jor con­sul­ta­tion events, and 107 in­spec­tion and sur­vey tours, form­ing a po­lit­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion frame­work em­ploy­ing a range of op­tions such as ple­nary ses­sions, stand­ing com­mit­tees’ the­matic dis­cus­sions on ad­min­is­tra­tive af­fairs and the­matic con­sul­ta­tive sem­i­nars, and bi­weekly con­sul­ta­tive sem­i­nars.

In the Third Ses­sion of the 12th CP­PCC con­vened in 2015, 87.5 per­cent or 1,948 of the CP­PCC mem­bers sub­mit­ted 5,857 pro­pos­als, of which 85.1 per­cent or 4,984 were taken up for con­sid­er­a­tion. Since the First Ses­sion of the 12th CP­PCC held in 2013, the rates of pro­posal han­dling and re­sponse have reached 99.5 per­cent or above.

Re­gional eth­nic au­ton­omy is an im­por­tant chan­nel for eth­nic mi­nori­ties to ex­er­cise their po­lit­i­cal rights. China has cre­ated the sys­tem of re­gional eth­nic au­ton­omy un­der the uni­tary sys­tem of govern­ment to ef­fec­tively pro­tect the demo­cratic rights of eth­nic mi­nori­ties. Of the 55 eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups in China, 44 have es­tab­lished eth­nic au­tonomous ar­eas. 71 per­cent of the eth­nic mi­nori­ties ex­er­cise re­gional au­ton­omy, and the land area un­der eth­nic au­tonomous ar­eas ac­counts for 64 per­cent of the na­tional ter­ri­tory. By the end of July 2016 eth­nic au­tonomous ar­eas had for­mu­lated and amended 967 au­tonomous reg­u­la­tions and sep­a­rate reg­u­la­tions in ef­fect, so­lid­i­fy­ing the le­gal foun­da­tion for eth­nic mi­nori­ties’ ex­er­cise of their right to de­vel­op­ment.

Heads of govern­ments of the five au­tonomous re­gions, 30 au­tonomous pre­fec­tures and 120 au­tonomous coun­ties are cit­i­zens from eth­nic groups ex­er­cis­ing re­gional au­ton­omy. Lead­er­ships and func­tional de­part­ments of CPC com­mit­tees, peo­ple’s con­gresses, govern­ments, CP­PCC com­mit­tees at all lev­els in eth­nic au­tonomous ar­eas con­tain eth­nic mi­nori­ties, whose pro­por­tions are gen­er­ally close to or higher than the per­cent­ages of eth­nic mi­nori­ties in the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion. By the end of 2015 eth­nic mi­nor­ity civil ser­vants num­bered 765,000 — nearly four times the fig­ure in 1978 — and 10.7 per­cent of the to­tal num­ber of civil ser­vants across the coun­try. 8.3 per­cent of civil ser­vants at or above county level were eth­nic mi­nori­ties.

Grass­roots democ­racy is an ef­fec­tive way for peo­ple to safe­guard and re­al­ize equal right to de­vel­op­ment. China has es­tab­lished a sys­tem of grass­roots self-gov­er­nance im­ple­mented by ru­ral vil­lagers’ com­mit­tees and ur­ban neigh­bor­hood com­mit­tees. Ap­prox­i­mately 98 per­cent of the 581,000 vil­lagers’ com­mit­tees across the coun­try prac­tice di­rect elec­tion and have for­mu­lated vil­lage reg­u­la­tions and rules for vil­lagers’ self-gov­er­nance. The turnout rates of di­rect elec­tions av­er­age 95 per­cent among 600 mil­lion eli­gi­ble vot­ers. The 100,000 ur­ban neigh­bor­hood com­mit­tees in China uti­lize the ser­vices of 512,000 staff and 5.4 mil­lion vol­un­teers. Ur­ban res­i­dents’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in democ­racy has been re­mark­ably broad­ened and their self-gov­er­nance ca­pa­bil­i­ties and lev­els have been im­proved, through mul­ti­ple chan­nels, in­clud­ing di­rect elec­tions, grid­ded man­age­ment plat­forms, vol­un­teer ser­vices, hear­ings, co­or­di­na­tion meet­ings, ap­praisal meet­ings, com­mu­nity li­ai­son, com­mu­ni­ties’ on­line fo­rums, and com­mu­nity pub­lic con­cern sta­tions, all con­tribut­ing to China’s sys­tem of grass­roots self­gov­er­nance. The work­ers’ con­gress sys­tem has been widely ap­plied in en­ter­prises and pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions. 4.64 mil­lion or 88.6 per­cent of en­ter­prises and pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions with trade unions have es­tab­lished sep­a­rate sys­tems for pub­li­ciz­ing en­ter­prise af­fairs. There are 2.75 mil­lion grass­roots trade unions across the coun­try, with 280 mil­lion mem­bers, in­clud­ing 109 mil­lion mi­grant work­ers from ru­ral ar­eas.

By June 2016, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions that had reg­is­tered at of­fices of civil af­fairs num­bered 670,000, in­clud­ing 329,000 mass or­ga­ni­za­tions, 5,028 foun­da­tions, and 336,000 pri­vate non-profit units. These non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions’ ser­vices and in­flu­ence ex­tend to ed­u­ca­tion, science and tech­nol­ogy, cul­ture, health, sports, com­mu­ni­ties, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, pub­lic wel­fare, char­ity, ru­ral econ­omy and other fields of pub­lic life.

Pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion pro­vides cit­i­zens with ready ac­cess to de­ci­sion­mak­ing pro­cesses. China has fur­thered demo­cratic leg­is­la­tion and im­proved the chan­nels and forms of pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in leg­is­la­tion. Ef­forts have also been made to es­tab­lish a sys­tem of com­mis­sion­ing third par­ties to draft leg­is­la­tion and eval­u­ate the drafts, and im­prove the mech­a­nisms for so­lic­it­ing pub­lic opin­ion on drafts of laws and reg­u­la­tions and giv­ing feed­back on re­sponses. Some lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have adopted reg­u­la­tions on ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sion­mak­ing pro­ce­dures for ma­jor is­sues, which list pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion as an im­por­tant le­gal pro­ce­dure and de­fine the forms and meth­ods of pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sion­mak­ing. Open so­lic­i­ta­tion of pub­lic opin­ion, hear­ings, sem­i­nars and ques­tion­naires are widely ap­plied for this pur­pose.

In 2007 the State Coun­cil en­acted Reg­u­la­tions on Open Govern­ment In­for­ma­tion, em­pha­siz­ing open in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive ap­proval, fi­nan­cial bud­gets and fi­nal ac­counts, govern­ment-sub­si­dized hous­ing for the poor, food and drug safety, land ap­pro­pri­a­tion, and house­hold de­mo­li­tion and re­set­tle­ment. The Reg­u­la­tions pro­vide for prompt and ac­cu­rate dis­clo­sure of govern­ment in­for­ma­tion to the pub­lic and pro­tec­tion of their right to know, and en­sure ef­fec­tive scru­tiny over govern­ment work while en­hanc­ing trans­parency in govern­ment in­for­ma­tion and ef­fi­ciency in law-en­force­ment.

Chan­nels of pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in ju­di­cial pro­cesses have been steadily broad­ened. The num­ber of peo­ple’s as­ses­sors has now sur­passed 220,000. From 2003 when China pi­loted the peo­ple’s su­per­vi­sor mech­a­nism to April 2016, there were more than 48,000 peo­ple’s su­per­vi­sors, who had ex­er­cised su­per­vi­sion over 49,000 cases of job-re­lated crimes. By the end of 2015, there had been nearly 800,000 peo­ple’s me­di­a­tion com­mit­tees with more than 3.9 mil­lion peo­ple’s me­di­a­tors, who had, in re­cent eight years, in­ves­ti­gated and re­solved more than 67 mil­lion cases of dis­putes. Pub­lic com­plaint fil­ing has taken on more di­ver­si­fied forms, fur­ther broad­en­ing the chan­nels for pub­lic po­lit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion. The na­tional com­plaint fil­ing sys­tem has opened to the pub­lic for on­line com­plaint fil­ing, res­o­lu­tion, and re­sult ap­praisal through com­put­ers, mo­bile phones and the so­cial-me­dia app WeChat’s pub­lic ac­counts plat­form. A to­tal of 1.41 mil­lion cases were filed on­line in 2015, of which 140,000 were aimed at of­fer­ing sug­ges­tions.

V. Pro­mot­ing Cul­tural Progress

The Chi­nese govern­ment en­deav­ors to re­struc­ture China’s cul­tural sys­tem, free and de­velop cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity, so as to cre­ate equal op­por­tu­nity for all cit­i­zens to en­joy ben­e­fits of cul­tural de­vel­op­ment and to have ac­cess to cul­tural de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, and en­sure re­al­iza­tion of their right to cul­tural de­vel­op­ment.

The build­ing of a pub­lic cul­tural ser­vice sys­tem has been ac­cel­er­ated. In 2015, the Chi­nese govern­ment is­sued “Opin­ions on Ac­cel­er­at­ing the Build­ing of a Mod­ern­ized Pub­lic Cul­tural Ser­vice Sys­tem” and “Guid­ance for Na­tional Ba­sic Pub­lic Cul­tural Ser­vices (2015-2020),” pre­sent­ing an all-round plan for ac­cel­er­at­ing the build­ing of a mod­ern­ized pub­lic cul­tural ser­vice sys­tem, pro­mot­ing stan­dard ba­sic pub­lic cul­tural ser­vices and equal ac­cess, and pro­tect­ing the peo­ple’s ba­sic cul­tural rights and in­ter­ests. China has ac­cel­er­ated pub­lic dig­i­tal cul­tural pro­grams, such as the Na­tional Pub­lic Cul­ture Dig­i­tal Plat­form, and the Na­tional Dig­i­tal Cul­ture Ne twork (http://www.nd­cnc.gov.cn/). By the end of 2015, the Na­tional Cul­tural In­for­ma­tion Re­sources Shar­ing Project had com­pleted 1 na­tional cen­ter, 33 pro­vin­cial cen­ters, 2,843 mu­nic­i­pal and county cen­ters, 35,719 town­ship and town (sub-dis­trict) sta­tions, and 700,000 vil­lage (com­mu­nity) sta­tions. China has im­proved the pub­lic cul­tural in­fra­struc­ture net­work and in­creased the ca­pac­ity of com­mu­nity-level cul­tural ser­vices. By the end of 2015, China had 2,037 art per­for­mance troupes, 3,139 pub­lic li­braries, 3,315 cul­tural cen­ters, 2,981 mu­se­ums, 40 pro­vin­cial dig­i­tal li­braries, and 479 mu­nic­i­pal and pre­fec­tural dig­i­tal li­braries. Con­tin­u­ous ef­forts were made to open pub­lic cul­tural fa­cil­i­ties to the pub­lic for free, in­clud­ing pub­lic art mu­se­ums at all lev­els, and ba­sic pub­lic cul­tural ser­vices in li­braries and cul­tural cen­ters (sta­tions) at all lev­els. By pro­mot­ing projects such as Ra­dio and TV Pro­grams for Each Vil­lage and Each Ru­ral House­hold, Town and Town­ship Com­pre­hen­sive Cul­tural Cen­ters, Ru­ral Cin­ema, Ru­ral Li­braries, and Ru­ral Dig­i­tal Cul­ture, China has greatly en­hanced ru­ral cul­tural ser­vice ca­pac­ity.

Lit­er­a­ture, arts, news, pub­lish­ing, ra­dio, film, tele­vi­sion and sports are thriv­ing. In 2015, China pub­lished more than 43 bil­lion copies of news­pa­pers, 2.9 bil­lion copies of pe­ri­od­i­cals, and 8.7 bil­lion copies of books. The num­ber of books pub­lished per capita reached 6.32. A to­tal of 236 mil­lion house­holds sub­scribed to cable TV, in­clud­ing 198 mil­lion sub­scribers to dig­i­tal cable TV. At the end of the year, the ra­dio cov­er­age rate was 98.2 per­cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion, and TV cov­er­age was 98.8 per­cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion. In 2015, China pro­duced 395 TV se­ri­als to­tal­ing 16,560 episodes, 134,000 min­utes of TV an­i­ma­tion, 686 fea­ture films, and 202 pop­u­lar science films, doc­u­men­taries, an­i­ma­tion and spe­cial films. China has adopted value-added tax ex­emp­tion for rev­enues from ru­ral cin­e­mas. It has also given sup­port to small and mi­cro cul­tural busi­nesses, and im­ple­mented poli­cies of­fer­ing con­struc­tion sub­si­dies, fi­nan­cial sup­port and dif­fer­en­ti­ated land des­ig­na­tion for county cin­e­mas in cen­tral and western re­gions. China has launched an “All Peo­ple Read­ing” cam­paign na­tion­wide. The 2016 “Lit­er­ary China” se­ries of ac­tiv­i­ties has ben­e­fit­ted over 800 mil­lion par­tic­i­pants, form­ing a con­ge­nial so­cial at­mos­phere for read­ing. China has ac­cel­er­ated the de­vel­op­ment of the sports in­dus­try un­der a pol­icy that has the com­bined sup­port of govern­ment, so­ci­ety and en­ter­prises. China has launched a na­tion­wide fit­ness cam­paign, ba­si­cally es­tab­lished a cor­re­spond­ing or­ga­ni­za­tional net­work, and greatly in­creased the num­ber of sports venues and fa­cil­i­ties. In 2015 China al­lo­cated RMB870 mil­lion in sub­si­dies to sup­port large sports venues and fa­cil­i­ties to open to the pub­lic for free or at low cost. In 2014 the sales of the Na­tional Sports Lot­tery reached RMB174.6 bil­lion, and the funds raised for the pub­lic to­taled RMB45.5 bil­lion.

Cul­tural pro­grams in eth­nic mi­nor­ity ar­eas are de­vel­op­ing. China has vig­or­ously sup­ported cul­tural de­vel­op­ment in eth­nic mi­nor­ity ar­eas. Through such pro­grams as the Fron­tier Cul­tural Cor­ri­dor Project and Na­tional Cul­tural In­for­ma­tion Re­sources Shar­ing Project, China has im­proved the pub­lic cul­tural ser­vice sys­tem in eth­nic mi­nor­ity ar­eas. By the end of 2015, nine nat­u­ral and cul­tural sites scat­tered in China’s eth­nic mi­nor­ity ar­eas, in­clud­ing the Po­tala Palace in Ti­bet, were added to UN­ESCO’s World Her­itage List. Four­teen eth­nic mi­nor­ity arts in­clud­ing Uygur Muqam of Xin­jiang were added to UN­ESCO’s Rep­re­sen­ta­tive List of the In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tural Her­itage of Hu­man­ity, and an­other four, in­clud­ing the Qiang eth­nic group’s New Year Fes­ti­val, were added to the List of In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tural Her­itage in Need of Ur­gent Safe­guard­ing. Ten ex­per­i­men­tal zones for cul­tural pro­tec­tion in eth­nic mi­nor­ity ar­eas have been es­tab­lished. A to­tal of 479 eth­nic mi­nor­ity her­itage items have been in­cluded in the four lists of na­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tive in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage, and 524 trustees from eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups have been put on the four lists of na­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tive trustees of in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage. The book se­ries of ex­plana­tory notes on an­cient books of eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups, ti­tled Synop­sis of the Gen­eral Cat­a­logue of An­cient Books of Eth­nic Mi­nor­ity Groups of China, was pub­lished in 2014. China has pro­moted the reg­u­la­tion, stan­dard­iza­tion and com­put­er­ized pro­cess­ing of lan­guages and scripts of eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups. Projects have been ini­ti­ated for the re­search and for­mu­la­tion of reg­u­la­tions on the translit­er­a­tion of per­sonal names into stan­dard Chi­nese from Mon­go­lian, Ti­betan, Uygur, Kazakh, Yi and other eth­nic mi­nor­ity lan­guages. China has set up data­banks for eth­nic mi­nor­ity lan­guages on the brink of ex­tinc­tion, and ini­ti­ated and im­ple­mented the Project for the Pro­tec­tion of Chi­nese Lan­guage Re­sources. By the end of 2015 a to­tal of 54 eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups were us­ing more than 80 spo­ken lan­guages of their own eth­nic groups, and 21 eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups were us­ing 28 scripts of their own eth­nic groups. Now nearly 200 ra­dio sta­tions na­tion­wide broad­cast in 25 eth­nic mi­nor­ity lan­guages; 32 pub­lish­ing houses of var­i­ous types pub­lish books in eth­nic mi­nor­ity lan­guages; 11 film dub­bing cen­ters, us­ing 17 eth­nic mi­nor­ity lan­guages and 37 eth­nic mi­nor­ity di­alects, fin­ished the dub­bing of movies, amount­ing to over 3,000 ver­sions from 2012 to 2015. In 2015, China pro­duced many pub­li­ca­tions in eth­nic mi­nor­ity lan­guages, in­clud­ing 69.12 mil­lion copies of 9,192 book ti­tles, 196.09 mil­lion copies of news­pa­pers and 12.45 mil­lion copies of pe­ri­od­i­cals.

Cul­tural de­vel­op­ment for the el­derly, the dis­abled and ru­ral mi­grant work­ers has re­ceived high at­ten­tion. Re­ly­ing on pub­lic li­braries, cul­tural cen­ters and other cul­tural fa­cil­i­ties, China has opened a group of demon­stra­tion uni­ver­si­ties for the el­derly to meet their multi-level cul­tural de­mands. China has also im­proved the en­vi­ron­ment for the dis­abled, en­cour­ag­ing them to par­tic­i­pate in cul­tural and sports ac­tiv­i­ties. By the end of 2015, China had more than 300,000 li­ai­son sta­tions for vol­un­teers help­ing the dis­abled, with 8.5 mil­lion reg­is­tered vol­un­teers, pro­vid­ing 100 mil­lion in­ter­ven­tions on be­half of the dis­abled. China has is­sued the “Out­line for the Na­tional IT Ap­pli­ca­tion De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy,” en­hanced in­for­ma­tion ac­ces­si­bil­ity of govern­ment web­sites, and en­cour­aged non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions to pro­vide in­di­vid­ual- ized in­for­ma­tion ser­vices to the dis­abled. The of­fi­cial web­site of the State Coun­cil (http://www.gov.cn/) has opened a spe­cial col­umn for ser­vices for the dis­abled. The China Braille Li­brary and China Dig­i­tal Li­brary for the vis­ually im­paired went on­line. By the end of 2014, China had set up 1,515 read­ing rooms for the vis­ually im­paired in pub­lic li­braries at all lev­els na­tion­wide. By the end of 2015, China had set up 65,918 pub­lic e-li­braries, mainly to serve the el­derly and ru­ral mi­grant work­ers.

VI. Pro­mot­ing So­cial De­vel­op­ment

China pur­sues shared de­vel­op­ment and com­mon pros­per­ity for all peo­ple as its de­vel­op­ment goals.

Over the years, China has been com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing var­i­ous so­cial un­der­tak­ings, es­tab­lish­ing and im­prov­ing var­i­ous types of so­cial se­cu­rity and so­cial ser­vice sys­tems, and con­tin­u­ously im­prov­ing the pro­vi­sion of so­cial se­cu­rity. It has striven to pro­vide ef­fec­tive so­cial re­sources and pro­mote equal ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion so that all share the fruits of de­vel­op­ment.

Pro­tec­tion of the right to health has sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased. The in­fant mor­tal­ity rate has dropped from 20 per­cent in 1949, when the PRC was founded, to 0.81 per­cent in 2015, and the ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity rate has dropped from 1,500 per 100,000 to 20.1 per 100,000. From 1978 to 2015, to­tal na­tional ex­pen­di­ture on health in­creased from RMB11.02 bil­lion to RMB4.10 tril­lion, of which govern­ment ex­pen­di­ture on health in­creased from RMB3.54 bil­lion to RMB1.25 tril­lion. Per capita health ex­pen­di­ture in­creased from RMB11.5 to RMB2,980.8, the num­ber of med­i­cal and health in­sti­tu­tions grew from 169,732 to 983,528, and the to­tal num­ber of health work­ers in­creased from 7,883,000 to 10,693,900. In 2015, the num­ber of com­mu­nity med­i­cal and health ser­vice cen­ters reached 361,000, with the cov­er­age of 52.9 per­cent. The num­ber of beds in so­cial ser­vice in­sti­tu­tions with ac­com­mo­da­tion in­creased from 828,000 in 1991 to 7,329,000 in 2015, of which beds for the el­derly in­creased from 783,000 to 6,727,000, and those for chil­dren in­creased from 7,000 to 100,000. From 1988 to 2015 the govern­ment car­ried out a key state re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cam­paign, of­fer­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ser­vices for 27.98 mil­lion peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. By the end of 2015 there were 7,111 re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in­sti­tu­tions for dis­abled per­sons, which em­ployed 192,000 pro­fes­sion­als, and 6,352 nurs­ing agen­cies of­fer­ing ser­vices to per­sons with learn­ing, men­tal and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties, 2,323 more than the fig­ure in 2010. In Oc­to­ber 2016 China pub­lished the “Out­line of Healthy China 2030” pro­gram, ad­vo­cat­ing that all peo­ple make fit­ness ac­tiv­i­ties part of their life.

A se­cu­rity sys­tem cov­er­ing the whole of so­ci­ety has taken shape. China has es­tab­lished a uni­fied ba­sic old-age in­sur­ance sys­tem for ur­ban and ru­ral res­i­dents through­out the coun­try, and for­mu­lated poli­cies to al­low work­ers, and es­pe­cially ru­ral mi­grant work­ers, to par­tic­i­pate in ba­sic pen­sion in­sur­ance for ur­ban work­ers and for ur­ban and ru­ral res­i­dents. In 2015, 858 mil­lion peo­ple were cov­ered by the ba­sic pen­sion in­sur­ance scheme, and 148 mil­lion ur­ban and ru­ral res­i­dents were re­ceiv­ing pen­sions. By the end of 2015 China had es­tab­lished a med­i­cal in­sur­ance sys­tem cov­er­ing all cit­i­zens. The ba­sic med­i­cal in­sur­ance for ur­ban work­ers, ba­sic med­i­cal in­sur­ance for ur­ban res­i­dents, and the new ru­ral co­op­er­a­tive med­i­cal in­sur­ance cover a to­tal of 1,336 mil­lion peo­ple, keep­ing the in­sured rate above 95 per­cent. The re­im­burse­ment rate of hos­pi­tal­iza­tion ex­penses for work­ers within the scope of the ba­sic med­i­cal in­sur­ance ex­ceeded 80 per­cent, with an in­creased max­i­mum pay­ment of six times the av­er­age an­nual salary of lo­cal work­ers, and the rate for ur­ban res­i­dents within the cov­er­age of the ba­sic med­i­cal in­sur­ance was around 70 per­cent, an in­crease to six times the per capita dis­pos­able in­come of lo­cal res­i­dents. The re­im­burse­ment rates of hos­pi­tal­iza­tion ex­penses for ru­ral res­i­dents within the scope of the new ru­ral co­op­er­a­tive in­sur­ance was above 75 per­cent. From 1994 to 2015, the num­ber of peo­ple cov­ered by un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance in­creased from 79.68 mil­lion to 176.09 mil­lion. In 2015, the rev­enues of the un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance fund reached RMB136.46 bil­lion, and the ex­pen­di­ture was RMB73.65 bil­lion, and the av­er­age monthly pay­ment to the un­em­ployed was in­creased to RMB968.4. The frame­work of a work-re­lated in­jury in­sur­ance sys­tem in­volv­ing work in­jury pre­ven­tion, com­pen­sa­tion, and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion has been es­tab­lished, which has seen the num­ber of in­sured grow­ing from 18.22 mil­lion in 1994 to 214.32 mil­lion in 2015. The num­ber of women cov­ered by the ma­ter­nity in­sur­ance pro­gram in­creased from 9.16 mil­lion to 177.71 mil­lion.

So­cial as­sis­tance ef­forts con­tinue to in­crease. In 1997, the Chi­nese govern­ment be­gan to es­tab­lish a na­tion­wide sys­tem of ba­sic liv­ing al­lowances. It pro­mul­gated the Reg­u­la­tions on Guar­an­tee­ing Ba­sic Liv­ing Al­lowances for Ur­ban Res­i­dents in 1999 and the In­terim Mea­sures for So­cial As­sis­tance in 2014, to en­sure all cit­i­zens have equal ac­cess to so­cial as­sis­tance. From 1996 to 2015, the num­ber of ur­ban res­i­dents cov­ered by the sys­tem of ba­sic liv­ing al­lowances in­creased from 849,000 to 17.01 mil­lion, and, from 1999 to 2015, cov­er­age of ru­ral res­i­dents grew from 2.66 mil­lion to 49.04 mil­lion. The govern­ment con­tin­ues to raise the ba­sic liv­ing al­lowances. In 2011, it for­mally es­tab­lished a dy­namic ad­just­ment mech­a­nism for ba­sic liv­ing al­lowances. In 2015, the av­er­age ba­sic liv­ing al­lowance line for ur­ban res­i­dents was RMB451 per per­son per month, and the av­er­age monthly sub­sidy each per­son re­ceived from the govern­ment was RMB317. The av­er­age ba­sic liv­ing al­lowance line for ru­ral res­i­dents was RMB265 per per­son per month, and the av­er­age per capita monthly sub­sidy pro­vided by the govern­ment was RMB147.

China has for­mu­lated a se­ries of dis­as­ter pre­ven­tion and re­lief plans and reg­u­la­tions, grad­u­ally strength­en­ing and stan­dard­iz­ing dis­as­ter re­lief work. From 2009 to 2015, the cen­tral govern­ment al­lo­cated RMB69.46 bil­lion as nat­u­ral dis­as­ter re­lief funds, av­er­agely RMB9.9 bil­lion for each year. In 2015, China pro­vided med­i­cal as­sis­tance to 95.24 mil­lion peo­ple at a cost of RMB29.85 bil­lion. The govern­ment also pro­vides tem­po­rary re­lief to peo­ple who suf­fer sud­den, ur­gent or tem­po­rary dif­fi­cul­ties when other so­cial as­sis­tance sys­tems can­not cover them at the time, or peo­ple who still lack ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties after re­ceiv­ing as­sis­tance. In 2015, 6.67 mil­lion house­holds re­ceived tem­po­rary re­lief. The in­dus­trial safety and emer­gency res­cue sys­tem has been con­tin­u­ously im­proved. Al­to­gether 32 pro­vin­cial and 316 mu­nic­i­pal emer­gency res­cue cen­ters, and 964 emer­gency res­cue bases and teams have been es­tab­lished na­tion­wide, cov­er­ing coal, non-coal mines, chem­i­cals, and other key in­dus­tries. In 2015, they took part in 12,438 mis­sions and res­cued 44,344 peo­ple.

Equal ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion has im­proved. The gap between ur­ban and ru­ral ed­u­ca­tion has been fur­ther nar­rowed. The Chi­nese govern­ment fur­ther pro­motes the bal­anced de­vel­op­ment of com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion, car­ries for­ward uni­fied re­form and de­vel­op­ment of com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion in ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas of coun­ties, im­ple­ments such projects as ren­o­va­tion of un­sat­is­fac­tory com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion schools in poor ar­eas, and works to im­prove con­di­tions for com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion schools and teach­ing venues in ru­ral ar­eas. The Chi­nese govern­ment strictly fol­lows laws and reg­u­la­tions about com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion whereby school-age chil­dren should be en­rolled in nearby schools with­out the need to sit ex­ams. It also pro­motes the school dis­trict sys­tem and the nine-year com­pul­sory sys­tem, un­der which an ele­men­tary school pupil will au­to­mat­i­cally move on to study in the ju­nior high school in the same school dis­trict ir­re­spec­tive of his grades in the ele­men­tary school. In 2015, the State Coun­cil pro­mul­gated the “No­tice on Fur­ther Im­prov­ing the Mech­a­nism Guar­an­tee­ing Funds for Com­pul­sory Ed­u­ca­tion in Ur­ban and Ru­ral Ar­eas.” With this no­tice, China es­tab­lished a mech­a­nism for the first time that ap­plies com­mon fund­ing stan­dards to both ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas, with the fo­cus on the lat­ter. The mech­a­nism ben­e­fits 140 mil­lion stu­dents, in­clud­ing more than 13 mil­lion chil­dren of ru­ral mi­grant work­ers, more than 30 mil­lion board­ing stu­dents, about 12 mil­lion pri­vate school stu­dents, and about 5 mil­lion small-scale school stu­dents and stu­dents re­ceiv­ing spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion. From the fall se­mes­ter of 2011, the govern­ment started to carry out a nu­tri­tion im­prove­ment pro­gram for ru­ral stu­dents re­ceiv­ing com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion.

The pro­gram ben­e­fits over 30 mil­lion stu­dents ev­ery year. Ef­forts have been made to in­crease the num­ber of ru­ral stu­dent en­roll­ments in key uni­ver­si­ties. Since 2012, the govern­ment has im­ple­mented spe­cial na­tional pro­grams on tar­geted en­roll­ment in ru­ral and poor ar­eas. In 2015, 75,000 stu­dents were en­rolled, an in­crease of 10.5 per­cent over 2014.

Re­gional gap in ed­u­ca­tion has fur­ther nar­rowed. The govern­ment has in­creased the col­lege and univer­sity en­roll­ment rate of the stu­dents from cen­tral and western prov­inces and ex­panded the scope of the Col­lab­o­ra­tion Pro­gram on Sup­port­ing En­roll­ment in Cen­tral and Western Re­gions. In 2015, the prov­ince with the low­est en­roll­ment rate saw the gap with the na­tional av­er­age nar­rowed from 15.3 per­cent­age points in 2010 to less than 5 per­cent­age points. The govern­ment has also es­tab­lished the Pro­gram on Re­ju­ve­nat­ing Higher Ed­u­ca­tion in Cen­tral and Western Re­gions. The cen­tral govern­ment has pro­vided more funds to strengthen the ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties and per­for­mance of col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties in these re­gions.

Ed­u­ca­tional gap between dif­fer­ent groups has fur­ther nar­rowed. Fe­male ed­u­ca­tion has made re­mark­able progress. In 2013, the num­ber of il­lit­er­ate fe­males aged 15 and above was 6.7 per­cent, 17.4 per­cent­age points lower than that in 1995, and the il­lit­er­ate fe­male pop­u­la­tion had de­creased by more than 70 mil­lion com­pared with 1995. The growth in the num­ber of ed­u­cated women and the de­cline in fe­male il­lit­er­acy are both greater than those of males.

The govern­ment is striv­ing to en­sure equal ac­cess to com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion for chil­dren of ru­ral mi­grant work­ers. In 2015, com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion schools in ur­ban ar­eas of China ad­mit­ted a to­tal of 13.67 mil­lion chil­dren of ru­ral mi­grant work­ers, with around 80 per­cent study­ing at pub­lic schools and nearly 6 per­cent at pri­vate schools through a gov­ern­ment­funded scheme. In 2016, the State Coun­cil pro­mul­gated the “Opin­ions on Strength­en­ing Care and Pro­tec­tion of Left-be­hind Chil­dren in Ru­ral Ar­eas” and “Opin­ions on Strength­en­ing Pro­tec­tion of Chil­dren in Dif­fi­cult Sit­u­a­tion” to safe­guard the law­ful rights and in­ter­ests of mi­nors. The Chi­nese govern­ment also works hard to of­fer greater ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties to per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. There is one in­de­pen­dent spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion school in ev­ery county with a pop­u­la­tion of more than 300,000 peo­ple and a high pop­u­la­tion of dis­abled chil­dren. The govern­ment also sup­ports the estab­lish­ment of spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion re­source cen­ters, en­cour­ages reg­u­lar schools to en­roll chil­dren with spe­cial needs, pro­vides con­ve­nience for dis­abled stu­dents to take part in col­lege en­trance ex­am­i­na­tions, and pro­motes in­te­grated ed­u­ca­tion. Al­most 90 per­cent of blind, deaf-mute, and men­tally hand­i­capped chil­dren have ac­cess to com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion. It works to im­prove the sys­tem for sub­si­diz­ing stu­dents with fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, which of­fers full cov­er­age from pre-school ed­u­ca­tion to grad­u­ate ed­u­ca­tion. In 2015, the govern­ment sub­si­dized more than 84.33 mil­lion stu­dents through­out China, an in­crease of 29.36 per­cent com­pared with 2009, and spent more than RMB156.03 bil­lion, 2.25 times the level of 2009.

The qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion for eth­nic mi­nori­ties has been con­tin­u­ously im­proved. China has al­ready cre­ated an eth­nic ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in­clud­ing eth­nic mi­nor­ity pri­mary schools, mid­dle schools, vo­ca­tional col­leges and higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions. Be­fore the PRC was founded in 1949, the il­lit­er­acy rate of eth­nic mi­nori­ties in China was above 95 per­cent, and there was only one higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tion for eth­nic mi­nori­ties. In the early days of the PRC, there were only 1,300 eth­nic mi­nor­ity stu­dents in in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing across the coun­try, ac­count­ing for only 1.4 per­cent of all stu­dents. By 2015 the ed­u­ca­tion level of eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups and eth­nic mi­nor­ity ar­eas had grown com­pre­hen­sively. There were 25,955,700 eth­nic mi­nor­ity stu­dents at that time. There were 32 dif­fer­ent types of eth­nic mi­nor­ity col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, and 2,142,900 ju­nior col­lege and col­lege stu­dents from eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups, ac­count­ing for 8.16 per­cent of the na­tional to­tal. Eth­nic mi­nor­ity peo­ples have ex­pand­ing ac­cess to a broader scope of higher ed­u­ca­tion. Full cov­er­age from un­der­grad­u­ate ed­u­ca­tion to grad­u­ate ed­u­ca­tion has been re­al­ized for all eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups. All of China’s 55 eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups have grad­u­ate stu­dents. From 2012 to 2015, un­der the Pro­gram for Train­ing High Cal­iber Core Per­son­nel for Eth­nic Mi­nor­ity Groups, China en­rolled and trained 16,000 master’s de­gree can­di­dates and 4,000 doc­toral can­di­dates.

VII. Ac­cel­er­at­ing En­vi­ron­ment-Friendly De­vel­op­ment

China is com­mit­ted to the con­cept of en­vi­ron­ment-friendly de­vel­op­ment and strives to ex­pe­dite the coun­try’s eco­log­i­cal progress to de­liver a more liv­able and beau­ti­ful en­vi­ron­ment for the peo­ple. It aims to make a good eco-en­vi­ron­ment a fo­cal point for im­prov­ing peo­ple’s liv­ing stan­dards, and cre­ate sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment that ben­e­fits all the peo­ple.

The ba­sic state pol­icy of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion un­der­pins en­vi­ron­ment-friendly de­vel­op­ment. In 1973 China con­vened its first na­tional work con­fer­ence on en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, and adopted its first Law on En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion in 1979. In 1983 China made en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion a ba­sic state pol­icy. China be­came the first coun­try in the world to for­mu­late and im­ple­ment a na­tional sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment strat­egy when it re­leased China’s Agenda 21 in 1994. The year 2000 first saw pro­tec­tion of the eco-en­vi­ron­ment be­ing in­cor­po­rated into the na­tional eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment pro­gram. Since 2013 China has been ac­cel­er­at­ing eco­log­i­cal progress in an all-round way; the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and the State Coun­cil jointly is­sued “Opin­ions on Ac­cel­er­at­ing Eco­log­i­cal Progress” in 2015. A le­gal sys­tem piv­ot­ing on en­ergy con­ser­va­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion has been formed, com­pris­ing 32 laws, 48 ad­min­is­tra­tive reg­u­la­tions, and 85 de­part­men­tal rules of the State Coun­cil. Cur­rently, there are 14,257 govern­ment agen­cies in­volved in en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion at all lev­els.

By the end of 2015 na­tional forestry cov­er­age had reached 208 mil­lion ha, rep­re­sent­ing about 22 per­cent of China’s to­tal land area; the veg­e­ta­tion cov­er­age rate of grass­lands had reached 54 per­cent, and the green­ery cov­er­age rate of ur­ban built-up ar­eas was 40.1 per­cent. Na­ture re­serves have been de­vel­op­ing in a uni­fied way. To­day China has 2,740 na­ture re­serves, cov­er­ing a to­tal area of 147.03 mil­lion ha.

En­vi­ron­men­tal gov­er­nance en­hances en­vi­ron­ment-friendly de­vel­op­ment. A na­tional in­te­grated de­ci­sion-mak­ing mech­a­nism and re­gional co­or­di­na­tion mech­a­nisms have been es­tab­lished for the pro­tec­tion of the eco-en­vi­ron­ment, form­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tal gov­er­nance sys­tem jointly im­ple­mented by the govern­ment, en­ter­prises and the pub­lic. Re­search and de­vel­op­ment in the tech­nol­ogy for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion is im­prov­ing, and there has been con­tin­u­ous re­in­force­ment of en­vi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing ef­forts and pol­lu­tion con­trol ca­pa­bil­ity.

Air pol­lu­tion con­trol is mak­ing steady progress. The pro­por­tion of coal con­sump­tion in to­tal en­ergy pro­vi­sion is de­creas­ing year by year, while the con­tri­bu­tion of hy­dropower, wind power, nu­clear power, nat­u­ral gas and other types of clean en­ergy is in­creas­ing. Since the be­gin­ning of the 11th Five-Year Pro­gram (2006-2010), China’s en­ergy con­sump­tion per RMB10,000 GDP has de­creased by 34 per­cent, sav­ing 1.57 bil­lion tons of coal equiv­a­lent, more than half of the en­ergy saved by the whole world in this pe­riod. In 2015 the ur­ban waste­water treat­ment rate reached 91.9 per­cent, and the pol­lu­tion-free dis­posal rate of ur­ban do­mes­tic solid waste was 94.1 per­cent. Ur­ban park green space per capita reached 13.35 square me­ters.

Eco­log­i­cal eco­nom­ics fos­ters en­vi­ron­ment-friendly de­vel­op­ment. China has com­pleted a sys­tem of work­ing cen­ters for agri­cul­tural en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, con­sist­ing of two at na­tional level, 33 at pro­vin­cial level, more than 300 at pre­fec­tural level, and more than 1,700 at county level. In the drainage basins of Taihu Lake, Chaohu Lake, Erhai Lake, the Three Gorges reser­voir re­gion, and other ma­jor drainage basins re­quir­ing pol­lu­tion pre­ven­tion and con­trol, model ar­eas of dif­fuse agri­cul­tural pol­lu­tion pre­ven­tion and con­trol have been es­tab­lished, and 106 na­tional model ar­eas of eco-friendly pre­ven­tion and con­trol of plant dis­eases and pests have been set up, cov­er­ing more than 33 mil­lion ha of farm­land. More than 100 coun­ties in two batches have been built into na­tional mod­els of eco­log­i­cal farm­ing, prompt­ing the de­vel­op­ment of over 500 pro­vin­cial-level model coun­ties. More than 2,000 model sites of eco­log­i­cal farm­ing have been com­pleted.

The agri­cul­tural hi-tech in­dus­try places its em­pha­sis on long-term de­vel­op­ment. Field wa­ter ap­pli­ca­tion ef­fi­ciency in agri­cul­tural ir­ri­ga­tion has been raised to 0.536. In­vest­ments in tech­no­log­i­cal up­grad­ing have been re­in­forced, and ef­forts have been made to pro­mote the new in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment. Between Jan­uary and Septem­ber 2016, in­vest­ments in in­dus­trial tech­no­log­i­cal up­grad­ing amounted to RMB6.6 tril­lion, an in­crease of 13.4 per­cent over the same pe­riod of 2015 and ac­count­ing for 40 per­cent of all in­dus­trial in­vest­ments. The ter­tiary sec­tor has been en­cour­aged and sup­ported to de­velop faster and gen­er­ate more green GDP. The ex­pand­ing In­ter­net econ­omy recorded a turnover of RMB3.88 tril­lion in the on­line re­tail in­dus­try in 2015, an in­crease of 33.3 per­cent over 2014.

Pol­icy sup­port bol­sters en­vi­ron­ment-friendly de­vel­op­ment. The state has made ac­tive ef­forts to pro­tect the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of eco­log­i­cally frag­ile ar­eas through in­te­grated plan­ning, tar­geted treat­ment, and the eco­log­i­cal com­pen­sa­tion mech­a­nism, cre­at­ing a vir­tu­ous cy­cle for re­gional eco-en­vi­ron­ments. Eco­log­i­cal ar­eas of medium fragility make up 55 per­cent of China’s land area, with two thirds con­cen­trated in the western re­gions. In 2005 the State Coun­cil pre­scribed re­stric­tive de­vel­op­ment in eco­log­i­cally frag­ile ar­eas. The “Out­line for the Con­ser­va­tion of Eco­log­i­cally Frag­ile Ar­eas in China (2009-2020)” was pro­mul­gated in 2008. By 2015 en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment had been im­ple­mented in all eco­log­i­cally frag­ile ar­eas, a 30 per­cent in­crease of tar­geted ar­eas had been brought un­der the strat­egy, and mod­els of the eco­log­i­cal in­dus­try have been pro­moted in eco­log­i­cally frag­ile ar­eas.

Com­mit­ments to in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions pro­pel en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly de­vel­op­ment. China was among the first coun­tries to for­mu­late and im­ple­ment a na­tional cli­mate change plan, and pledged to achieve its 2020 goals laid out in the “Na­tional Plan on Cli­mate Change (2014-2020)” and 2030 goals set out in the “En­hanced Ac­tions on Cli­mate Change: China’s In­tended Na­tion­ally De­ter­mined Con­tri­bu­tions” re­leased in 2015. Over the years, China has taken ef­fec­tive pol­icy ac­tions to honor its com­mit­ments. Mov­ing along the path to­ward low-car­bon de­vel­op­ment, China en­acted the “Na­tional Plan for Re­duc­ing Ozone-de­plet­ing Sub­stances” and achieved ahead of sched­ule its first-stage hy­drochlo­roflu­o­ro­car­bons (HCFCs) phase-out goal as part of its com­mit­ment to the “Mon­treal Pro­to­col on Sub­stances that De­plete the Ozone Layer.” China’s re­duc­tion of ozone-de­plet­ing sub­stances ac­counts for ap­prox­i­mately half of the to­tal re­duc­tion by de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. China has elim­i­nated the pro­duc­tion, use, and im­port and ex­port of 17 of the 26 types of per­sis­tent or­ganic pol­lu­tants listed in the “Stock­holm Con­ven­tion on Per­sis­tent Or­ganic Pol­lu­tants,” and re­duced the dioxin emis­sions of three in­dus­tries that are ma­jor emit­ters of diox­ins by more than 15 per­cent. Fur­ther­more, the state has es­tab­lished the Na­tional Com­mit­tee for Bio­di­ver­sity Con­ser­va­tion, en­acted the “China Bio­di­ver­sity Con­ser­va­tion Strat­egy and Ac­tion Plan (2011-2030)” and signed the Mi­na­mata Con­ven­tion on Mer­cury. China is an ac­tive and con­struc­tive par­tic­i­pant in in­ter­na­tional talks on cli­mate change, and makes ro­bust ef­forts to bol­ster the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change. China has made sig­nif­i­cant ef­forts in mov­ing the Paris Agree­ment on green­house gas emis­sions mit­i­ga­tion to­ward adop­tion and tak­ing ef­fect, mak­ing it one of the fastest ma­jor in­ter­na­tional agree­ments ever to en­ter into force and fur­ther con­tribut­ing to the world’s sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

VIII. Pro­mot­ing Com­mon De­vel­op­ment

China up­holds the prin­ci­ples of mu­tual re­spect, equal­ity of treat­ment, win-win co­op­er­a­tion, and com­mon de­vel­op­ment, and pro­motes the in­ter­ests of its own peo­ple and the com­mon in­ter­ests of other peo­ples. China sup­ports the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, es­pe­cially the least de­vel­oped coun­tries (LDCs), in re­duc­ing poverty, im­prov­ing peo­ple’s well­be­ing and the de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment, in or­der to build a hu­man com­mu­nity of shared fu­ture.

De­fend­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment. As an orig­i­nal mem­ber state of the United Na­tions, China par­tic­i­pated in draft­ing the Char­ter of the United Na­tions and signed it, fa­cil­i­tated the pub­li­ca­tion of the “Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Hu­man Rights,” up­held the prin­ci­ples pre­scribed in the “In­ter­na­tional Covenant on Eco­nomic, So­cial and Cul­tural Rights” and the “In­ter­na­tional Covenant on Civil and Po­lit­i­cal Rights,” and fa­cil­i­tated the pass­ing of the res­o­lu­tion on the new con­cepts of hu­man rights and the res­o­lu­tion on the right to de­vel­op­ment. China par­tic­i­pated in all the pre­vi­ous meet­ings of the Group of Gov­ern­men­tal Ex­perts of the United Na­tions Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights (UNCHR) for draft­ing the “Dec­la­ra­tion on the Right to De­vel­op­ment,” and made an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to the for­mal adop­tion of the Dec­la­ra­tion in 1986. China has al­ways been a co-spon­sor of UNCHR res­o­lu­tions on the right to de­vel­op­ment, sup­port­ing the UNCHR’s global de­bate on re­al­iz­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment, and con­sent­ing to the de­lib­er­a­tion of the right to de­vel­op­ment by the UNCHR as a sep­a­rate is­sue. Since the UNHRC was es­tab­lished in 2006, China has been elected as a mem­ber four times, and has con­trib­uted its wis­dom and strength to mak­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment a main­stream is­sue.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the for­mu­la­tion of the de­vel­op­ment agenda. China was the first to voice sup­port for the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment strat­egy. It has sup­ported and im­ple­mented the “United Na­tions Mil­len­nium Dec­la­ra­tion,” and achieved 13 of the United Na­tions Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals. While ef­fec­tively im­prov­ing the pro­tec­tion of its own peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment, China has also pro­moted the com­mon de­vel­op­ment of the world. It has helped the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to pass and im­ple­ment the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, and is­sued “China’s Po­si­tion Pa­per on the Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment” and “China’s Na­tional Plan on Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment.” At the G20 Hangzhou Sum­mit, China joined other coun­tries in for­mu­lat­ing the “G20 Ac­tion Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment” and the “G20 Ini­tia­tive on Sup­port­ing In­dus­tri­al­iza­tion in Africa and Least De­vel­oped Coun­tries,” adding im­pe­tus to the over­all de­vel­op­ment of all coun­tries and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in par­tic­u­lar. In Septem­ber 2015 China and UN Women co-or­ga­nized the Global Sum­mit of Women, and im­ple­mented the goals re­lated to the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment.

Ex­pand­ing the path to de­vel­op­ment. Over the years, based on the prin­ci­ple that all coun­tries are en­ti­tled to choose their own so­cial sys­tems and de­vel­op­ment paths, China has ex­panded its de­vel­op­ment mind­set and phi­los­o­phy, and joined other coun­tries in seek­ing eq­ui­table, open, all-round and in­no­va­tion­driven de­vel­op­ment. China strives for eq­ui­table de­vel­op­ment for all coun­tries and for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in par­tic­u­lar, so that all coun­tries can be­come par­tic­i­pants in and con­trib­u­tors to global de­vel­op­ment and eq­ui­tably share the in­ter­ests of de­vel­op­ment. China calls on all coun­tries, which share the same de­vel­op­ment goals yet are at dif­fer­ent de­vel­op­ment lev­els, to take on com­mon but dif­fer­en­ti­ated re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. China has ad­vo­cated the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries’ right to a greater voice in for­mu­lat­ing the rules of the global gov­er­nance sys­tem. China keeps the open-door pol­icy while pur­su­ing de­vel­op­ment. It joins other coun­tries in up­hold­ing the mul­ti­lat­eral trade regime and pro­motes the free flow of pro­duc­tion fac­tors around the world so that the achieve­ments of de­vel­op­ment will ben­e­fit all par­ties and peo­ple in all coun­tries. China pur­sues all-round de­vel­op­ment, to achieve bal­anced de­vel­op­ment between econ­omy, so­ci­ety and en­vi­ron­ment, and to re­al­ize har­mony between hu­man­ity and so­ci­ety, and between hu­man­ity and na­ture. China pro­motes in­no­va­tion-driven de­vel­op­ment, ad­dresses prob­lems aris­ing in de­vel­op­ment by means of de­vel­op­ment, and fos­ters new core com­pet­i­tive­ness. China places great value on the lead­er­ship of the United Na­tions, en­cour­ages re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion, and im­proves its com­pet­i­tive de­vel­op­ment by in­te­grat­ing the strengths and ad­van­tages of var­i­ous par­ties, so as to fully re­lease its de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial.

Fur­ther­ing co­op­er­a­tion for de­vel­op­ment. China ad­heres to the prin­ci­ple of main­tain­ing in­tegrity and pur­su­ing in­ter­ests while giv­ing pri­or­ity to in­tegrity, strives to im­prove the de­vel­op­ment ca­pac­ity of all coun­tries and the in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment, part­ner­ship and co­or­di­na­tion mech­a­nisms for in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion to re­al­ize the rights of all peo­ple to de­vel­op­ment. China pro­pels in­clu­sive and mu­tu­ally-ben­e­fi­cial de­vel­op­ment, while par­tic­i­pat­ing in global eco­nomic gov­er­nance. Re­gard­ing North-South eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion as the main fo­cus, China con­tin­ues to ex­pand South-South, tri­par­tite, re­gional eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, and co­op­er­a­tion with emerg­ing economies and, at the same time, ex­plore more ef­fec­tive means of win-win co­op­er­a­tion. To re­al­ize com­mon de­vel­op­ment the Chi­nese govern­ment en­deav­ors to in­volve more coun­tries and re­gions in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, re­ly­ing on ex­ist­ing bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral mech­a­nisms such as the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion, ASEAN Plus China (10+1) Sum­mit, ASEAN Plus China, Ja­pan and the ROK (10+3) Sum­mit, East Asia Sum­mit, China-Ja­pan-ROK Co­op­er­a­tion, APEC, Asia-Europe Meet­ing, Asia Co­op­er­a­tion Di­a­logue, Con­fer­ence on In­ter­ac­tion and Con­fi­dence-Build­ing Mea­sures in Asia, China-Arab States Co­op­er­a­tion Fo­rum, China-Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil Strate­gic Di­a­logue, Greater Mekong Subre­gion Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion Pro­gram, and Cen­tral Asia Re­gional Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion. China has es­tab­lished the Silk Road Fund, ini­ti­ated the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank, and set up the Lan­cang-Mekong River co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism, in or­der to pro­vide fi­nanc­ing sup­port for the Belt and Road coun­tries to co­or­di­nate pro­grams on in­fra­struc­ture, re­source de­vel­op­ment, and in­dus­trial and fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion. In­creas­ing de­vel­op­ment aid. Over the past 60 years China has pro­vided ap­prox­i­mately RMB400 bil­lion in aid to 166 coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions. It has trained more than 12 mil­lion per­son­nel from de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, and dis­patched over 600,000 peo­ple to aid de­vel­op­ment in other coun­tries. Seven hun­dred peo­ple have given their lives in the course of these pro­grams. Since 2008, China has been the largest ex­port mar­ket of the LDCs, and ab­sorbed about 23 per­cent of their ex­ports. To im­prove eco­nomic growth and stan­dards of liv­ing in the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, China will set up a South-South Co­op­er­a­tion Fund, in­crease its in­vest­ment in the LDCs, write off cer­tain coun­tries’ debts, es­tab­lish an In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Knowl­edge Cen­ter and fur­ther the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. In the com­ing five years China will im­ple­ment six “One Hun­dred Pro­grams” tar­get­ing de­vel­op­ing coun­tries — 100 poverty re­duc­tion pro­grams, 100 agri­cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion pro­grams, 100 trade aid pro­grams, 100 eco-pro­tec­tion and cli­mate change pro­grams, 100 hos­pi­tals and clin­ics, and 100 schools and vo­ca­tional train­ing cen­ters. One hun­dred and twenty thou­sand train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and 150,000 schol­ar­ships will be made avail­able to de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in China, and 500,000 vo­ca­tional tech­ni­cal per­son­nel will be trained. China will set up a SouthSouth Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment Academy, and give the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion US$2 mil­lion in cash aid.

Pro­vid­ing spe­cial treat­ment. China, as a de­vel­op­ing coun­try, is an ad­vo­cate for a num­ber of trade rights based on the prin­ci­ple of “Spe­cial and dif­fer­en­tial treat­ment,” but not be obliged to pro­vide the same treat­ment. How­ever, in re­cent years, China has be­gun to pro­vide “Spe­cial and dif­fer­en­tial treat­ment” to other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, fo­cus­ing on pro­tect­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment of the LDCs. In 2002, China and the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) signed the Frame­work Agree­ment on China-ASEAN Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion, of­fer­ing spe­cial and dif­fer­en­tial treat­ment with flex­i­bil­ity to new ASEAN mem­ber states such as Cam­bo­dia, Lao PDR, Myan­mar and Viet Nam. In 2006, China joined the Amend­ment to the First Agree­ment on Trade Ne­go­ti­a­tions Among De­vel­op­ing Mem­ber Coun­tries of the Eco­nomic and So­cial Com­mis­sion for Asia and the Pa­cific. China’s Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms has is­sued three doc­u­ments which have ex­tended the range of coun­tries en­joy­ing its spe­cial pref­er­en­tial tar­iff from African coun­tries to 40 LDCs rec­og­nized by the United Na­tions.

Im­prov­ing the de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment. China joins other coun­tries in safe­guard­ing in­ter­na­tional peace, op­poses all forms of ter­ror­ism, and sup­ports in­ter­na­tional and re­gional co­op­er­a­tion in fight­ing ter­ror­ism, in or­der to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment of peace and har­mony that pro­motes de­vel­op­ment and thereby con­sol­i­dates peace. In re­cent years, China has of­fered so­lu­tions to re­gional flash­points: in­volv­ing it­self in the Iran nu­clear talks; me­di­at­ing for na­tional rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in South Su­dan; propos­ing a four-step frame­work for po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment of the Syr­ian is­sue; fa­cil­i­tat­ing the peace talks between the Afghan govern­ment and the Tal­iban; pro­mot­ing con­sen­sus on re­sum­ing the six-party talks on the nu­clear is­sue on the Korean Penin­sula. To date, China has sent 33,000 mil­i­tary, po­lice and civil­ian per­son­nel to join UN peace­keep­ing mis­sions. Cur­rently there are 2,600-plus Chi­nese peace­keep­ing per­son­nel in­volved in 10 UN peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions, mak­ing China the most ac­tive per­ma­nent mem­ber of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil in terms of sup­ply­ing peace­keep­ing per­son­nel. In or­der to sup­port and im­prove peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions, China will join the new UN peace­keep­ing standby mech­a­nism, take the lead in es­tab­lish­ing reg­u­lar peace­keep­ing po­lice force units, and or­ga­nize peace­keep­ing standby forces. In the com­ing five years China will train 2,000 peace­keep­ing per­son­nel for other coun­tries, launch 10 dem­i­ning aid pro­grams, pro­vide US$100 mil­lion of non-re­im­bursable mil­i­tary aid to the African Union, and al­lo­cate part of the China-UN Peace and De­vel­op­ment Fund to sup­port UN peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions.

Con­clu­sion

In the pur­suit of de­vel­op­ment and their right to de­vel­op­ment, the Chi­nese peo­ple have made stren­u­ous ef­forts and sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ments. To pro­mote com­mon de­vel­op­ment and to build a com­mu­nity with shared fu­ture, China has made un­remit­ting ef­forts and played an im­por­tant role. It will al­ways be a de­fender of hu­man­ity’s right to de­vel­op­ment, and a force to pro­pel de­vel­op­ment and progress through­out the world.

There will al­ways be room for im­prove­ment in hu­man rights, and the quest to im­prove peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment is al­ways un­der­way. As the world’s largest de­vel­op­ing coun­try China faces daunt­ing chal­lenges, char­ac­ter­ized by press­ing prob­lems such as un­bal­anced, un­co­or­di­nated, and un­sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. To achieve a higher level of de­vel­op­ment and bet­ter pro­tect the peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment, China needs to main­tain its ef­forts. Meet­ing the peo­ple’s grow­ing ma­te­rial and cul­tural needs and giv­ing ev­ery­one ac­cess to sound de­vel­op­ment are still the pri­mary tasks of the CPC in its gov­er­nance of the coun­try.

The Chi­nese peo­ple are work­ing hard to achieve the Two Cen­te­nary Goals and the Chi­nese Dream of the great re­ju­ve­na­tion of the Chi­nese na­tion. With the re­al­iza­tion of these goals, China will make a his­toric and un­prece­dented leap, and the Chi­nese peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment will be fur­ther pro­tected.

At the UN Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Sum­mit in Septem­ber 2015, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping called upon all na­tions to mark a new start­ing point with the adop­tion of 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, and unite to chart a path of de­vel­op­ment that is fair, open, com­pre­hen­sive, and in­no­va­tive. China will con­tinue to work with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, strengthen co­op­er­a­tion, pro­mote ex­changes of ex­pe­ri­ence, and make its due con­tri­bu­tion to fur­ther in­crease the level of de­vel­op­ment of all peo­ples of the world and build a com­mu­nity with shared fu­ture for mankind.

LI JUN­SHENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Per­form­ers from the Kaifeng Com­mu­nity Arts Cen­ter stage a show for farm­ers liv­ing on the out­skirts of Kaifeng city, He­nan prov­ince.

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