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'People first' governance bears fruits

Updated: 2010-12-12 09:54


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BEIJIN - Thirty-three-year-old Wang Binglang, a laid-off worker in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, felt much relieved  following positive changes in his life during the past two years.

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Wang's family moved into a new apartment two years ago.

Such apartments were specially built by property developers and sold at affordable prices to low-income families in the country at the demand of the Chinese government. They are much less expensive than other apartments in the market, as their developers are only allowed to gain marginal profits from them.

His 8-year-old son now goes to a school near their apartment, and all three family members are covered by the country's medical care insurance.

"The sound housing, schooling and medical care arrangements are very reassuring for a small vendor like me," he said.

The Chinese government has been increasingly attending to ordinary people's lives and rights in recent years.

China published its first working plan on human rights in 2009, pledging to further protect and improve human rights conditions.

As a developing country with a population of 1.3 billion, China must give priority to the protection of the people's rights to subsistence and development, such as the rights to employment, education, medical and old-age care and housing, the plan stressed.

In 2009, the Chinese government began a three-year healthcare reform program designed to provide universal healthcare services, especially in the less-developed rural areas, and cut expenditures.

The government chipped in more funds into the sector, channeling 13.8 billion yuan ($2.07 billion) to medical and health care in 2006, while the central budgetary spending on the sector rocketed to 138.92 billion yuan in 2010.

The government input on education has also been on the rise for years. The central government invested 53.6 billion yuan into education in 2006, while the central budgetary spending on the sector jumped to 215.99 billion yuan in 2010.

"China has been upgrading its concept for development. If we forget our goal of development is the happiness of the people, such development is only unilateral, which neglects human rights," said Zhang Xiaoling, director of the human rights research center of the Party School of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Zhang Xianguo, a 46-year-old citizen in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu province, received 200 yuan as a subsidy on Thursday.

The Jiangsu provincial government has introduced a system to issue subsidies to low-income groups when the commodity price hike hits a set limit.

The local government activated the system twice in July and November this year, with various levels of governments in the region allocating nearly 200 million yuan as a subsidy.

"The subsidy comes just in time. It can bail my family out," Zhang said.

The CPC Central Committee proposed guidelines in October for mapping out a blueprint for China's development over the next five years .

The proposal pledges intensified protection of human rights in the country.

The "fundamental end" of economic transformation was to improve people's lives, which could only be achieved by giving priority to job creation, providing equal public services to every citizen and stepping up reform of the income distribution system, the proposal says.

Liu Jie, director of the human rights research center of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences said, as the largest developing country in the world, China has never ceased to promote modernization and progress in human rights.

"The development of human rights cannot be achieved overnight. Any opinion that expects China to improve all of its human rights conditions overnight is unpractical or made with ulterior motives," Liu said.


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