В силе остаются и прочие исключения из политики "одна семья - один ребенок". Второго дитятю, в частности, могут заводить:
- городские семьи, в которых первенец болен врожденным или приобретенным в младенчестве пороком;
- сельские семьи, в которых первенец - девочка;
- представители 55 проживающих в КНР нацменьшинств;
- семьи, лишившиеся детей в результате природных катастроф (отдельным указом Госсовета, как в случае с Сычуанью в 2008 году).
Новая поправка к политике ограничения рождаемости, скорей всего, не принесет заметных результатов. По итогам недавнего социологического исследования, лишь 10 проц женщин-респондентов заявили, что хотели бы родить второго ребенка. Подавляющее большинство в 90 проц заявило: "Нам и одного хватает на свою голову".
- Больше банков - меньше казней: чем еще порадовал рассекреченый текст итогового документа Пленума ЦК КПК.
Тезисно. В УК КНР "пошагово" будет сокращаться количество расстрельных статей (на сегодня их насчитывается 55). Решено отменить практику "трудового перевоспитания" и трудовых лагерей. Частному капиталу разрешат открывать мелкие и средние банки. Очень расплывчато, но все-таки сказано о необходимости постепенной реформы сисемы "хукоу" и отмены госмонополий в отдельных секторах экономики. Но больше всего власти порадовали журналистов, конечно же, временем публикации документа: пятница, сука, вечер. Итоговый документ состоит из 16 пунктов и 60 параграфов. В журналистских кругах Поднебесной уже родился новый термин: "Политика 16-60". Полный текст документа на китайском - здесь.
- Секс как прививка: в Китае разрабатывают новую риторику для подросткового сексуального образования. "Дружок, ты был зачат, когда папина сперма попала в мамину яйцеклетку. Как это произошло? Примерно так же, как делают прививки: иголку вводят в тело и закачивают туда препарат", - эта цитата стала хитом новых видеороликов для сексуального образования в школах. Китай разрабатывает новую риторику и систему образов для базового школьного курса межполовых отношений. Нынешняя программа признана неудовлетворительной. "На сегодня школьный курс рассказывает ребятне о половых органах, и только. Мы не раскрываем тему полового акта и профилактики сексуального насилия - а надо бы", - говорит представитель Всекитайского центра по вопросам детства Цун Чжунсяо, напоминая, что только в нынешнем году по стране прокатилось около 30 скандалов с изнасилованием малолеток. На сегодня уже создана серия из трех новых 10-минутных видеороликов, рассказывающих школьникам о межполовых отношениях и сексе. Их показ в школах решит много проблем прежде всего для учителей, которые, по данным соцопроса, поголовно стесняются изустно повествовать детям о половых органах и актах.
- Почта Китая в субботу выпустит серию марок, посвященную 120-летию Мао Цзэдуна.
- Китай создает базу данных генетических аномалий. Она появится в провинции Шаньси, которая является лидером в КНР по числу спровоцированных генными мутациями врожденных пороков. Соответствующий показатель здесь составляет 1,9 проц, тогда как общенациональный - 1,3 проц. В течение пяти лет к шаньсийской БД генных аномалий будут подключаться данные из других регионов - в результате будет составлена общенациональная карта генных мутаций. Ежегодно в Поднебесной на свет появляются 900 тыс младенцев с врожденными отклонениями.
Изучаем важный документ: стенограмма речи Ли Кэцяна о состоянии национальной экономики
First of all, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council, warm congratulations on the successful convening of the 16th National Congress of Chinese Trade Unions and the election of the new leadership of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions. I also wish to express sincere greetings to the hundreds of millions of Chinese employees and trade union officials and pay high respect to the Chinese working class. The working class plays an essential role in China's development. I know you follow with great interest the current state and growth trend of China's economy. Therefore, I have accepted invitation to talk to you today, and I will talk about three key issues.
First, the current state of the Chinese economy
The current state of the Chinese economy should be viewed against the background of the global economy. This government assumed office in an intricate domestic and international environment, particularly the weak recovery of the global economy. Major developed economies are all experiencing sluggish growth. Even those doing well are only growing by just over 1%, and others have registered negative growth. The larger economies among developing countries and emerging markets have grown at a rate of below 2%, and a few with better performance have only achieved no more than 5% growth. In 2010, China's economy registered double-digit growth, up by 10.4% year-on-year. However, in the fourth quarter of last year, due to the combined impact of complex domestic and international factors, China's growth rate dropped to 7.8%, and the trend of economic slowdown has continued into this year, with GDP growth being 7.7% for the first quarter and 7.5% for the second quarter respectively.
Why do I mention GDP at the very beginning of my address today? You may say we should not focus on GDP only. Of course, we shouldn't. But after all, China is still a developing country, and development remains the basic condition and key for solving all the problems we face in China. More importantly, GDP for us means employment. In the past, every one percentage increase in China's GDP created about one million jobs. Thanks to adjustment of economic structure carried out over these years, especially the accelerated development of the service sector, every percentage point of GDP growth now generates about 1.3 million or even 1.5 million jobs. I instructed the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and other relevant government departments to conduct an in-depth survey, and their conclusion is that in order to add 10 million new jobs each year, we need to maintain an annual GDP growth of 7.2%. In short, to ensure stable growth is to ensure employment.
What should we do in the face of downward pressure on the economy? To ensure stable growth and employment, we have two options. One is to increase deficit and money supply. In other words, to boost investment through deficit financing and printing money. While this could work within the year, space is needed for carrying out such fiscal and monetary policies. Moreover, it is hard to sustain such short-term stimulus. Currently, our deficit has reached 2.1% of GDP. What does this mean? The ceiling set by the EU is that a country's deficit should not exceed 3% of its GDP. Of course, many EU members broke the ceiling and we all know the result, which is the European debt crisis. It has lasted for several years now. In some countries, economic growth has stalled and even contracted, unemployment is high, and welfare benefits are no longer guaranteed. Talking about money supply, China's broad money supply (M2) exceeded 100 trillion yuan in late March, twice the size of its GDP. In other words, there is already a lot of money circulating, and more could lead to inflation. As you all know, when inflation goes out of control, it not only disrupts and damages the market, it can also cause a huge adverse impact and pressure on people's lives and even lead to panic.
The second choice is to be firm in pursuing the policy of not increasing deficit and neither relaxing nor tightening money supply. And this requires us to maintain confidence and policy stability. Some comrades may ask whether this means standing still without doing anything. Of course not. It is like riding a bicycle, you will fall if you are not riding it. So we need to keep moving and seek progress while maintaining stability. This is the overall work guideline set by the central leadership. We need to make progress while maintaining stability. To achieve this goal, we should exercise macro control in an innovative way and take effective and well-targeted measures in keeping with the changing environment. We have taken measures in the following priority areas:
First, we have taken forceful measures to release the huge dividends of reform. You may recall that during the period from the Second Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee to the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference this year, we set the goal of streamlining administration and delegating power. Much can be done in cutting the size of the government and, more importantly, transforming its function. As we all know, there is an "invisible hand" of the market and a "visible hand" of the government. Some people complain that the government's "visible hand" has become a "busy hand", and one needs to apply for approval in doing everything. You may have watched a TV report about a "long march" cartoon showing the lengthy approval process. Sometimes, just one application requires over 100 stamps of approval. In addition, numerous inspections and collection of fees have become a huge burden on starting business. While we are sparing no effort to help create jobs and start businesses in cities, such approval processes and inspections have poured cold water on people who want to start business. So we are determined to cut the number of items subject to approval.
In the past six months and more, the Central Government has taken major steps to abolish or delegate to lower levels the power of approval over 221 items. The policy of streamlining administration and delegating power has sent a very positive signal to the public and the market, which is to spur employment and encourage people to start business.
The other day I read statistics on business registration. In the third quarter of this year, the number of new market entities nationwide grew by 18% year-on-year, and private businesses grew by 31%. This is an explosive growth compared with the past few years, and it shows that major progress has been made in the reform. So we have taken transforming government functions as the breakthrough point in advancing reform. An important goal of establishing the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone is to streamline administration and delegate power and explore the management model based on negative list. The government should delegate power that should be delegated and assume full responsibility over matters that fall within its mandate.
Of course, reform is not just about transforming government functions. We need to do more. Economic growth hinges on adequate financial resources, and as it is difficult to increase fiscal revenue, we have to make best use of available resources. We have required the government to tighten its belt to make the people live a better life. The central Party leadership has issued the eight-point regulations, and the government has also issued orders to cut spending on official overseas trips, vehicles for official use and official hospitality. Starting from this year, administrative spending of Central Government departments will be cut by 5%. This has made it possible for us to reduce tax on small and micro businesses and exempt value-added tax and business tax on such businesses with sales of less than 20,000 yuan each. This benefits six million small and micro businesses employing over ten million people.
We have also reformed the investment system. As part of the reform of government offices, the Ministry of Railways was abolished and the China Railways Corporation was established. The over two million employees in the railway sector have made enormous and irreplaceable contribution to our country, the people and passengers. However, the Ministry of Railways, an arm of the government, also had business functions. This caused difficulties in financing, and it depended on budgetary support and issuing bonds backed by sovereign credit. Railway construction therefore slowed down over the past two years. What should be done? China's total length of railways is only 100,000 kilometers, while that of the United States is 250,000 to 270,000 kilometers. China's per capita share of railway is much lower than that of the developed countries. The railway sector, particularly in Central and Western China, still has potential of growth. We have turned the Ministry of Railways into a corporation, separating business functions from government ones, and this has made it possible for the railway sector to gain wider access to financing and attract private capital. Of course we need to ensure the safety of the railways and national security. As building railways has returns, it is attractive to private capital. We need to create platforms and conditions to speed up construction of railways in less-developed regions.
But comrades, we also face pressure when we take the second option. Some of you may have heard about the so-called "money squeeze". In June, the overnight interbank lending rate surged to 13% from the normal 3% plus. Such a rate is indeed very high. Some people overseas called it "money squeeze", or default on loans and liquidity shortage among Chinese banks. In the face of this situation, we were not scared, and we stuck to the adopted policy of neither loosening nor tightening the monetary policy. But to be frank, we needed to take this issue seriously although we did not panic. Why? Let me give you an example. The Internet is now quite developed. Someone made a slight change in "default among Chinese banks" and posted it online as "default of the Bank of China". You know that the Bank of China is one of the four largest state-owned commercial banks in China with the largest number of overseas branches. Due to time difference, market is open in Western countries when it is closed in China, and there was widespread speculation about possible problems in China's financial sector. We responded quickly by making clarifications. You see, this spark could trigger a big fire, if it is not put out in time. In light of the situation at the time, we directed the People's Bank of China and commercial banks to improve liquidity management and maintain appropriate money supply. On the other hand, we did not ease monetary policy. Instead, we took steps to guide public expectation and business activities, which ensured stable growth. Had we loosened monetary policy and increased deficit, it would be like trying to put out a fire with firewood. The fire would simply not stop as long as there is firewood. We have therefore pursued steady fiscal and monetary policies.
Second, we have taken targeted measures. To grow the economy, we need to ensure policy consistency, deepen reform and incentivize the market. We also need to step up structural adjustment and particularly increase domestic demand. We have already taken many policy initiatives to boost consumer demand and we will soon issue 4G licence. Information consumption and e-commerce are growing fast. Online retail sales reached 1.3 trillion yuan in 2012 and they were close to this number in the first three quarters of this year. This helped create a lot of jobs. Many people have gone in for this low-cost online business: they just open online stores but don't have to rent any actual shop space. It is indeed not easy to start a business. But by providing various incentives and developing new business models, we can create more opportunities for business start-ups. At the same time, we are also energetically promoting elderly care and health services, which are inadequate in China. Many products are in oversupply and we have to cut excess production capacity. On the other hand, there is a shortage of services. China's services sector is way behind that of other countries. In terms of services to GDP ratio, we are even ten percentage points lower than countries which have the same level of income like China. As I have learned, for someone who lives in a mega Chinese city to get into a public nursing home , he needs to be on the waiting list at the age of 50 and will have to wait 30 or even 40 years - when he is in his 80s, before he is admitted. This shows how inadequate elderly care services are in our country. China's per capita GDP is now over 6,000 US dollars, and services have great potential for development. We must take steps to boost their growth. In particular, we should remove obstacles to attract private capital. On the other hand, we should not neglect manufacturing. We should focus on environmental and energy saving sectors in keeping with our goal of structural upgrading. We are also working hard to rebuild run-down areas in cities. This program both benefits the people and contributes to growth. We have sped up rebuilding run-down areas in cities in recent years and made major progress. Still, about 40 million people 70% of them are retired employees live in contiguous areas of shanty dwellings in either cities or industrial and mining areas, forest regions and land reclamation areas. Recently, I visited some workers who live in shacks in an industrial and mining area in western China. I asked a retired worker, "When did you come here?" He said he went there in the 1950s to help develop China's interior. At that time, work took precedence over living conditions and he lived in such a shack. He has been living there ever since and spent the best part of his life there. Now he is old and has retired, but he still lives in the shack. He told me that for fear of gas poisoning, he does not keep the coal stove hot. To keep warm in winter for the whole night, in addition to covering himself with a cotton-padded quilt, he has to wear cotton-padded clothes. And he has to share a public toilet with several hundred people. This old man said to me that his only wish is to move into a flat before he dies. So we must speed up the rebuilding of run-down areas. The purpose of carrying out structural adjustment is also narrowing the gap between Eastern region on the one hand and Central and Western regions on the other, between urban and rural areas, and breaking down barriers between permanent residents and mobile population within cities.
Third, we have expanded opening-up. Thanks to efforts made in the past several decades, China has become the second largest economy in the world. This is also attributable to the growing competitiveness of our export sector. Many of you have visited other countries, and you can see "made in China" signs everywhere in the world. However, the global economy remains weak and the World Trade Organization has lowered its forecast of global trade volume and trade growth several times. A trade war seems to be looming, as many countries are resorting to trade protectionism to protect domestic industries and jobs. But what they are actually protecting is backwardness, and they will lose out eventually. As a big country, China mainly relies on domestic demand, but that does not mean we should neglect ensuring stable growth in export. Because currently, the export sector alone employs some 30 million people; if other related industries are included, about 100 million jobs are created. If export plummets, it will cause unemployment. That is why we should continue to engage with the rest of the world, uphold our national interests and resolutely oppose trade protectionism as is justified and in an appropriate manner. You may still remember the dispute we had with Europe over photovoltaic products back in April and May this year, which was triggered by the EU's so-called "anti-dumping and countervailing duty" investigation against Chinese photovoltaic products. When I visited Europe at that time, I told the leaders of the European countries I visited that this move would only hurt China without serving themselves any good. If the EU were to conduct the so-called "anti-dumping and countervailing duty" investigation and impose a 47% punitive tariff on Chinese photovoltaic products, all our photovoltaic companies would lose the European market. So I told the European leaders China would have no choice but to take countermeasures. When I came back from Europe, I paid a visit to the largest photovoltaic company in China. The company officials told me that although China negotiated a two-month grace period with Europe, their company could still not survive if the tariff were to be raised to such a high level when the two-month grace period ends. How many people are employed in the photovoltaic industry in China? 400,000. And the question is not just about the jobs of 400,000 people. If the EU succeeded in taking this protectionist move against China, its members would keep raising new issues. There will be many more trade wars and sanctions against China. As China is the largest exporter in the world, we must firmly oppose trade protectionism and resolutely oppose "anti-dumping and countervailing duty" investigation and other protectionist measures. Therefore, in a telephone conversation with the EU leader later in Beijing, I urged the EU not to pursue this course, and the dispute was finally resolved through consultations between the two sides.
During my recent visit to Thailand, I also made great effort to promote China's high-speed railway. I told them we have advanced, safe and reliable technologies and rich experience in operation. Our companies should enter the international market. We should not just buy things from others, but also sell value-added products. We should sell to other countries not just clothes, shoes, hats or general products, but also finished goods, especially medium- and high-end products. There is still a lot we can do in this respect.
Fourth, we have guided market expectation. Despite all the efforts we have made, there are still some concerns in the market, like whether the reform steps taken, including streamlining government and delegating power as well as structural readjustment, will make real difference this year. In addition, some foreign media are talking down China, claiming that there will be a hard landing for the Chinese economy. Even some leading economists predict that the growth rate of the Chinese economy will drop to 3% this year. I have also heard similar views during my meetings with foreign visitors. Although high GDP growth is not our goal, still less exclusive focus on GDP, a reasonable growth rate is necessary. So we have set an appropriate band to guide market expectation. What is the appropriate band? People keep asking me what exactly are the ceiling and floor. Well, as decided at the annual session of the National People's Congress earlier this year, a growth rate of around 7.5% is taken as the floor. Because this directly concerns employment. During my visits to some export companies in the worst days of the first quarter, I was told that they would never cut jobs although export orders had stopped growing. I thanked them not only on behalf of employees, especially rural migrant workers, but also on behalf of the country, and I said to them that all other companies should follow their example. University graduates are a valuable asset of our country. 6.99 million students will graduate from universities this year, more than in any previous year. Facing a demanding and complex economic environment, we have adopted a plan to help them find jobs. Under this plan, a university graduate who fails to find a job one or two times will still get support from the government, instead of being left unheeded. Both universities and government departments for human resources and social security must closely follow employment of graduates and provide to them training, job advice and opportunities. We should not allow zero-employment families. The trade unions have done a lot to address this issue. During my post in Northeast China, I visited a family with no member having a job. It was sad to see a family of several members having no jobs, including a boy and a girl at working age. The family was lifeless and hopeless. So we must ensure their basic living needs. That is why I have just talked about the need to ensure stable growth so as to create jobs. And we guide the market expectation by setting an appropriate band, with the floor of growth rate set at 7.5%. The ceiling is that CPI should not exceed 3.5% so that it will not affect people's living. The weighting of food in China's CPI basket is 33%. There are still many mid-and low-income people in China. Over 20 million urban residents and over 50 million rural residents, or 5% of the population, depend on basic living allowances. So this is the signal we have sent to the public: If the economy moves beyond this appropriate band, the government will take targeted measures. But, even when this appropriate band is maintained, we will still do our best to unleash all dividends of reform. We will work hard to deepen reform, promote structural adjustment and foster internally generated growth momentum by galvanizing market forces. I am not suggesting that the government is not responsible for maintaining macro-economic stability. Of course we have this responsibility and we are capable of maintaining such stability. We have sent this message to the world loud and clear.
You have seen the recently released economic data for the first three quarters of this year. Growth rate has picked up, rising from 7.5% in the second quarter to 7.8% in the third quarter. Although CPI rose slightly higher to 3.1% in September, the figure for the first three quarters stood at 2.5%, well within our target band of 3.5%. More importantly, over 10 million new urban jobs were created in the first three quarters. Registered urban unemployment rate was 4.04%. Industrial electricity consumption and rail cargo volume increased by 9.8% and 7.3% respectively in the third quarter, matching the growth of the economy in the same period. I've read today foreign press comments, which are bullish about China's economic data. Some fair-minded foreign economists pointed out in their articles that prediction about the decline of the Chinese economy has once again proved wrong and that those who foresaw a hard landing for China's economy are now going to regret themselves. Indeed, our economy on the whole is stable and making steady progress, and we are fully capable of meeting major targets of economic and social development set for this year. It is important to have confidence. Where does confidence come from? The most important source of confidence is our great working class and the diligence and wisdom of hundreds of millions of Chinese workers you represent here today. You probably remember that despite the impact of the international financial crisis in 2008, the Chinese economy still did quite well in 2009. The US TIME magazine carried photos of Chinese workers, including migrant workers, on its "Person of the Year" list. The magazine took the view that it was Chinese workers who had held up China's rapid economic growth, a result achieved mainly because of their diligence, diligence and diligence and that no one works harder than Chinese workers. I told them that they missed one word, and I now want to repeat to you the word three times like they did: wisdom, wisdom and wisdom!
What we are doing now is to ensure not only stable performance of the economy, but also continued social progress. In fact, while pursuing social progress, we have overcome all kinds of challenges, including natural disasters, to keep the economy on a stable footing. For instance, after an earthquake hit Lushan, Sichuan Province several months ago, the central Party leadership and the State Council mobilized various resources and launched a timely, effective, well-organized and orderly rescue operation. When I arrived on the scene, roads had been blocked and traffic cut off. But very soon helicopters joined rescue efforts. By the time I reached the epicenter, officials from neighboring provinces were already there. This shows that the people in the country are eager to help victims of the disaster. The swift action taken also shows that Sichuan Province had gained experience from dealing with the Wenchuan earthquake. We made a decision there and then that to ensure orderly and smooth rescue operation, Sichuan Province should take main charge with the help of a working group dispatched by the State Council which would provide Sichuan with what it needed. This helped us minimize the death toll. The Central Government then decided that similar future disasters should be handled in the same way. Likewise, thanks to experience gained from fighting the SARS epidemic and influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, we were able to prevent and control the avian influenza (H7N9) in a scientific and orderly fashion.
We have also worked hard to resolve problems of concern to the people. Take air pollution for example, we have adopted a ten-point action plan to improve air quality in Beijing within three to five years. We will make every effort to remove pollution sources. But this, of course, takes time. We have also intensified regulation and supervision over food and drug safety. During the reform of government departments, we placed responsibilities for food and drug safety scattered among various government departments under the newly established China Food and Drug Administration. This avoids shifting responsibilities, a situation aptly described in Chinese fables: In one case, nine dragons entrusted with fighting flood shifted responsibility to one another, causing failure in flood control. In another case, three monks all shirked the responsibility of bringing water from the well, and as a result, all had no water to drink. We have also addressed the issue of infant formula, placing it under drug regulation to ensure its safety. In short, we need to pursue coordinated economic and social development to ensure long-term, sustained and healthy growth of the Chinese economy.
Second, the mid-to-long term development trends of the Chinese economy
Over the past 30 years and more since reform and opening up program was launched, the Chinese economy has registered a miraculous average annual growth rate of 9.8%. But at the current stage, if we continue to depend excessively on investment, we will face increasing constraints of energy, resources and the environment, and fast growth based on heavy investment and energy consumption is also hard to sustain. We should also recognize that our competitive edge in cost is dwindling. Ultimately, economic growth is about improving people's lives and delivering a life of higher quality to them. It is thus natural to increase wages. Both the labour cost and the cost of land and other factors have increased. But the baseline of our GDP is also rising. Last year, our GDP was 52 trillion yuan. A 1% growth on such a basis is surely much larger than a 1% growth when the GDP was 5 trillion or 10 trillion yuan.
As a middle-income country, China, which was previously in a stage of high speed growth, has entered a stage of medium-to-high speed growth. What is medium-to-high speed growth? I think it refers to a growth rate of about 7.5% or above 7%. Such growth rate is defined as "medium" in comparison with past growth rates. We have had two-digit growth rates and an average growth rate of 9.8%, so 7-7.5% can only be regarded as medium. But in the whole world, our growth is still a high-speed one. In particular, no other major countries have such high growth rate as China has. What is more, according to our estimate, an annual growth rate of 7% will be enough for us to accomplish the building of a society of initial prosperity in all respects by 2020. While maintaining such a growth rate, we can focus more of our energy on adjusting the structure, cutting overcapacity, enhancing energy conservation and environmental protection, improving the quality of growth and creating more space for sustainable development. We should see that China is capable of achieving long-term, sustainable and sound growth, as we are still in the process of industrialization and urbanization. Our urbanization rate is 52% when people who live in cities for over six months are counted as urban residents in addition to registered permanent urban residents. The urbanization rate would be lower than 35% if only those with urban household registration are counted. This is quite low compared with developed countries and other developing countries at the same level of development, but it is also a sign of great potential. There is a big gap not only between rural and urban areas, but also among the Eastern, Central and Western regions. China's per capita GDP is 6,000 US dollars, and it is around 10,000 US dollars in some Eastern areas, but it is only 3,000 US dollars in the Western region. Such a difference means potential. More importantly, our reform will produce huge dividends. We have made tremendous achievements in carrying out reform and opening-up in the past three decades and more, and reform will never stop. We will resolutely push forward comprehensive reform even if this entails real sacrifice. Such reform initiatives include making fiscal budget public, cutting government spending on official overseas trips, vehicles for official use, and official hospitality. And we will promote financial reform to make interest rate market-based and enable small and micro businesses to secure loans more efficiently and at lower cost. We will advance these reforms. This will, of course, upset vested interests. But reform is in the interest of the people and will deliver good life to hundreds of millions of Chinese workers. No other interests are more important than these interests, so we will advance reform without hesitation.
I must stress that there will be many risks and challenges on the road ahead, such as fiscal and financial risks, unbalanced industrial structure, weak agricultural foundation, growing resource and environmental constraints, insufficient overall R&D capacity, dual pressure on our economic development placed by latecomers who are catching up and developed countries which are ahead of us economically and in terms of science and technology. It is thus by no means easy to achieve sustainable and sound economic growth. We need to be keenly aware of potential challenges and get fully prepared to handle complex situation and difficulties. To defuse existing risks and meet challenges, we need to have courage and vision, be of the same mind and make joint efforts to achieve our goal. We will go through some throes, but it is my conviction that the 1.3 billion Chinese people and the hundreds of millions of Chinese workers have unshakable resolve to realize modernization and lead a better life. We have the capability to achieve this goal.
Third, better addressing issues concerning the immediate interests of workers in economic and social progress
Workers' interests are of keen concern to all of us. The trade unions serve as a bridge and bond connecting the Party and the government with hundreds of millions of workers. It is only natural for the trade unions to look after and uphold the rights and interests of workers. Promoting economic growth and protecting workers' rights and interests are fully compatible with each other. We hope workers in their hundreds of millions and people will all work hard. But you just can't milk the cow but do not feed it. Here I wish to emphasize the following:
First, we must practise a proactive employment policy. We must ensure that those in the workforce and those who have just entered the labour market have jobs, particularly, high quality jobs. Employment is of the greatest importance to people's wellbeing. You can rest assured that the government will never slacken its efforts to create employment, which is always the focus of our attention. For us, to realize steady growth is mainly to ensure employment.
Second, we must put in place a strong social security net. We need to advance structural reform, and the most important structural reform is one that enables consumption to play an important role. In many developed countries, final consumption accounts for a significant share of GDP. In China, the ratio is 45.9% for the first three quarters of 2013. To encourage the people to spend more, we need to ensure that they don't have to be concerned about social security. Employment gives people money to consume. But why is it that even though the people have money, and there is about 40 to 50 trillion yuan of saving deposits in the banks in China, consumption is still insufficient? This is because the people have worries. And their greatest worry is about social security, particularly old age care. To be frank, we do have a problem here. Now over 300 million people have joined the urban employees' old age pension scheme. But this year, a total of 38 million people have stopped paying for old age insurance. Many of them are employees of small, medium and micro-sized businesses that are in difficulties, and some are those in flexible employment who stopped paying premium after having done so for 15 consecutive years. The government must find ways to improve the social security system and the trade unions should also get involved. We need to pool our heads together to find ways to address this issue. We should have confidence in the government. During the reform and reorganization of state-owned enterprises in the old industrial bases in Northeast China, about six million workers were included in the old age pension system in one year. But when some enterprises went bankrupt, due to a lack of relevant policy, several million workers left their jobs voluntarily without receiving any compensation. They contributed their share to the development of the People's Republic of China, and the country should not forget them. We must find ways to solve their problems. So we should establish an old age pension scheme that covers the entire population and all employees as well as a safety net that addresses their concerns in life and work. By so doing, we will deliver development benefits to more people in a more equitable way. The medical insurance system now generally covers both urban and rural areas. Here, I want to say a few words about the need to establish a medical insurance scheme covering severe illnesses. Every year, about three million people cannot afford the medical cost of severe illnesses even with reimbursement from the medical insurance scheme. The government, the society and individuals should work together to find ways to solve this issue. Here I want to emphasize that the "heart-warming" activities organized by trade unions have played an important role in addressing the problems of retired workers and those in difficulty. The government should provide policy and funding support to trade unions. Another initiative we have taken is to increase housing supply. We plan to build 36 million low-income housing units during the 12th Five Year Plan period, half of which will be built in former run-down areas. We have decided to rebuild all the run-down areas where many of the retired workers live.
We are also working on a contingency mechanism. During the current stage, both poverty relief and contingency measures are important. Poverty reduction stands out as an important part of China's achievements in the past few decades. Lifting several hundred million people out of poverty is an accomplishment that no one can deny. But we are yet to establish a full-fledged contingency mechanism. There should be a safety net in the society that meets people's basic living needs so that people don't have to be concerned about social security when they look for jobs or start up businesses. This is to make sure that when one encounters difficulty in seeking employment and starting business and cannot support himself, there is a safety net that he can fall back on. Yet a basic safety net is not enough. He should also have the last resort to turn to, which is the contingency mechanism. I believe "heart-warming" activities should be part of this contingency mechanism. Everyone, including the government, society and trade unions that carry out "heart-warming" activities, charity organizations and others, should all get involved to build this contingency mechanism. We should promote social harmony by resolutely preventing frequent occurrence of incidents that push the limit of public tolerance.
Third, we need to ensure that workers' income will increase along with the growth of the economy and productivity. Social security should remove misgivings, but social security alone is not enough. There is the issue of workers' income. The Twelfth Five-year Plan calls for doubling workers' income in step with GDP growth. Workers' income should grow along with growth of the economy and productivity.
Of course, what is on top of our mind is ordinary workers. The average minimum wage was raised by 18% in 24 provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government this year, which has put pressure on enterprises and affected their export competitiveness. But we have to make this hard choice because ultimately, our goal is to achieve common prosperity for the people. Rural migrant workers are also very much on our mind. I am so happy to learn that one million rural migrant workers have joined trade unions. They have made huge contribution to cities, and cities can't do without them. A big city cannot function without various services. We need both surgeons and waiters, for instance. We should respect people of all professions. There are 260 million rural migrant workers in China. Some of them are doing seasonal and transient work. The government and trade unions should take actions to help them settle down in cities and enable them to enjoy what they do, and become truly integrated into urban life and enjoy their due rights.
Here, I want to stress in particular that Party committees and governments at all levels must attach great importance to the work of trade unions. In particular, we should provide more care for model workers, and support and help trade unions in their work related to model workers. A country must have a strong driving force and model workers are pace-setters we should emulate. Model workers are from all walks of life, and they are champions in their professions, and all the people should be like them. We should also improve the mechanism of joint meetings between the government and trade unions. As this mechanism is already in place, we must make it work. This mechanism will enable us to learn more about what workers, especially ordinary workers, want. We also need to promote democratic management of enterprises and make employees' representative conference play its due role.
Fourth, we should attach great importance to enhancing employee training. People used to say that China has a demographic dividend, but actually we also have a dividend of qualified personnel, which is something that should not be underestimated. In order to upgrade the Chinese economy, we should not only release the biggest dividends of reform, but also turn demographic dividend into dividend of qualified personnel. We have made some progress in this area. Of all urban employees, 36% are skilled workers with a quarter of them being highly skilled ones. While this is not a small number, we still lag far behind developed countries in this regard. Currently, the government provides funding for training 10 million employees every year. This is not a small number either, but still it is not big enough as there are several hundred million employees in China. We must spend more money on employee training and give greater policy priority to employee education to turn demographic dividend into dividend of qualified personnel. We should support trade unions in carrying out skill training programs for employees to turn the overwhelming majority of employees into skilled employees and equip majority of them with intermediate to advanced level skills. This will spark motivation and creativity of employees and I am fully confident we can reach our goal.
We must also take workplace safety very seriously. Workplace safety is of paramount importance as it is about protecting human lives. We should never drop our guard. The Party and government have always attached great importance to workplace safety and we have also made a lot of efforts in this area in recent years. Yet there are still many problems. Enterprises alone cannot ensure workplace safety, and the government must intensify supervision. The public and trade unions should also play their role of supervision.
Повод для всенародного ликования на сегодня:
15 ноября 1989 года КНР и США подписали двустороннее соглашение о вступлении Китая в ВТО. Это был прорыв в переговорах о присоединении Поднебесной к Всемирной торговой организации. В ее ряды Народная Республика официально вступила в декабре 2001 года, в 2016-м КНР автоматически получит статус страны с рыночной экономикой.