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China’s Policy of People First  

by Edmund Kagire
2:09 pm

The citizen in rural China

As the 20th National Congress of Communist Party of China (CPC), which opened on Sunday, October 16, continues, one thing that stands out, is that every ambition and target, that resounds around the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, revolves around the people.

China, justifiably feels that it faces biased, and unjust criticism from the west, over its human rights and alleged of lack of democracy, but China firmly asserts the allegations are politically motivated, and are based on unfounded allegations, and reports, that do not reflect the reality on the ground.

As President Xi Jinping delivered his report to the Congress, on behalf of the 19th CPC Central Committee, as the party’s Secretary-General, he outlined how China’s economic development has translated into a steady increase in citizens’ income, improving people’s livelihoods, especially over the last decade.

The gross national income per capita reached 11,890 U.S. dollars last year, doubling from the figure recorded in 2012. The expansion helped elevate China from 112th to 68th in the same timeframe as per World Bank ranking.

China eliminated absolute poverty in 2020, with 12.37 million rural residents lifted out of poverty, on a yearly average, between 2012 and 2020.

This achievement enabled China to meet United Nations 2030 agenda, for Sustainable Development (SDGs)’s eradication of poverty target, ten years ahead of schedule.

Thanks to the income growth and improvements in education and health care, the average life expectancy of Chinese people reached 77.9 years in 2020, 5.2 years above the global average.

In his report titled “Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive in Unity to Build a Modern Socialist Country in All Respects”, President Xi Jinping, highlighted how China’s phenomenal economic transformation, over the past decade, features a substantial improvement in people’s well-being, guided by a people-centred philosophy that aims to ensure development benefits all.

A determined country

China’s determination to better the lives of all of its people, has been unwavering, and will not be deterred by western criticism but will instead focus on people-centred development philosophy, while relying on the efforts of everyone to promote prosperity for all.

As highlighted in the report presented at the Congress, the CPC has brought about all-around improvement in Chinese people’s lives over the past decade.

China’s average life expectancy has further risen to reach 78.2 years, its per capita disposable annual income, has risen to 35,100 yuan (about 4,938 U.S. dollars) from 16,500 yuan, and more than 13 million urban jobs, have been created each year on average over the past 10 years, according to the report.

China, which has built the largest education, social security, and healthcare systems in the world, has made historic strides in making education universally available, bringing 1.04 billion people under the coverage of basic old-age insurance, and ensuring basic medical insurance for 95 percent of the population.

More than 42 million housing units in run-down urban areas, and more than 24 million dilapidated rural houses, have been rebuilt, marking a significant improvement in housing conditions, in both urban and rural areas, the report outlines. The number of internet users in the country has reached 1.03 billion, the report said.

 It is all about the People

China has been running a monumental anti-poverty campaign on a scale unseen anywhere in the world. The mission was successfully accomplished with nearly 100 million people lifted out of poverty, in eight years since 2012.

In his message, President Jinping, was very clear on whom all the efforts were focused. “This country is its people; the people are the country” he said, reiterating that the CPC set out to establish a republic that belongs to the people and works for the people.

“Bringing benefit to the people is the fundamental principle of governance. Working for the people’s wellbeing is an essential part of the Party’s commitment to serving the public good and exercising governance for the people,”

“We must ensure and improve the people’s well-being in the course of pursuing development and encourage everyone to work hard together to meet the people’s aspirations for a better life,” the Head of State said.

He emphasized the need to work hard, to realize, safeguard, and advance the fundamental interests of all the people, stating that his government, will do everything within its capacity to resolve the remaining challenges people face.

“We will stay engaged with our people and their communities, adopt more measures that deliver real benefits to the people and win their approval, and work hard to resolve the pressing difficulties and problems that concern them most,”

“We will improve the basic public services system to raise public services standards and make public services more balanced and accessible, so as to achieve solid progress in promoting common prosperity,” he said.

Among other areas, the CPC has committed to improve the system of income distribution, in a bid to promote common prosperity, and to also improve the social security system.

The party also said it will remain committed to the fundamental, national policy of gender equality, and protect the lawful rights and interests of women and children, as well as a advancing the Healthy China Initiative.

The government further committed to improve the population development strategy and also to establish a policy system to boost birth rates.

In doing so, China intends to reduce the gap between wealthier and poorer areas, as well as between urban and rural regions, which the party believes is really what matters to the country.

With the results already achieved, China’s path is clear, focusing on things that improve the living conditions of the people, and afford them all their rights, to live a well and dignified life. It is an ambition that not even detractors can gainsay.

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