China's experience in solving the problems of the well-being of the population

Abstract. The article highlights the problem of overpopulation of the country and ways to solve the problems, the consequences of which affect the well-being of people and the social development of the country. The measures taken in China to provide the vulnerable population with education, medical insurance and affordable housing ensure the stable economic development of the state.

China is the most densely populated country in the world, with a population of about 1.4 billion. It is therefore necessary to provide 1.4 billion people with food, housing, education, medical care and employment. Such a task is a vast and complex project. It can be said that the problem of livelihood in China is one of the most challenging problems in the world.

At present, China is firmly committed to the principles of achieving actions for the “two- hundredth anniversary”:

  • firstly, by 2021, when the Chinese Communist Party will celebrate its centenary, to fully build a society of consistent prosperity in the country;
  • secondly, by 2049, when the People’s Republic of China will celebrate its centenary, to build a strong, modernized socialist state. These actions are an important part of the Chinese dream, and improving the well-being of the population is one of its most important aspects.

This year, China marks the 40th anniversary of the reform and policy of openness. Over the past 40 years, with the development of the Chinese economy, people's lives have undergone tremendous changes, and enormous changes have been made in Chinese society. China has become the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest trading nation in the world and the country with the largest currency reserves. In 1978, China’s total GDP was only $214.2 billion, accounting for 2.2% of the world economy, less than one tenth of the United States and one fifth of Japan.

In 2000, China’s total GDP reached $1,214.9 billion and its global ranking rose to sixth position. In 2007, China outperformed Germany in terms of total GDP and ranked third in the world. In 2010 it ranked 2nd, ahead of Japan. In 2017, China’s total GDP reached $12,2 trillion, which is about 15% of the world economy. Over the past 40 years, China’s GDP has grown by an average of 9.5% per year at comparable prices. In dollar terms, China’s foreign trade grew by an average of 14.5% per year. The standard of living of the Chinese people is constantly growing, with people coming out of poverty and living more prosperously. The Chinese middle class now number around 200300 million. Many people have moved from poverty to a prosperous society. More than 700 million poor people, according to current UN standards, successfully escaped poverty; and this number accounts for more than 70% of the total population living in poverty in the world.

China has achieved great success in solving the problem of population well-being in the following areas:

First, the number of poor people has significantly decreased. In 2012-2017, more than 60 million poor people in China came out of poverty. The report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China set the task of addressing the problem of poverty in remote areas so that poor peasants come out of poverty in accordance with the current standards of China for 2020. This means that every year more than 10 million people must escape poverty. This task is very difficult and challenging. At present, China is carrying out a comprehensive battle against poverty. Many experts visit villages, and the houses of poor families, investigating their needs and developing practical programs to combat poverty on their behalf.

Second, there is the rapid development of education. In recent years, the Chinese government has invested heavily in the development of education. In 2000, the share of the state budget for education in China was less than 3% of GDP, and in 2017 it grew to about 4.5%. A compulsory nine-year education system was made law in China, which led to a sharp decrease in illiteracy. China has 2880 universities, and the level of university enrolment has risen to 42%. This means that almost half of high school graduates have the opportunity to continue their studies at a university. Each year, about eight million university graduates take up jobs and make a contribution to society. For this purpose, the Chinese government must create more than 13 million jobs annually to satisfy employment. The unemployment rate is about 5%, which is not easy for a country with a population of 1.4 billion people.

Third, there is the continuous improvement of the social-security system. In the field of social welfare in China, universal health insurance is currently provided. In the past, farmers had to pay for their medical expenses; and now there is a universal health-insurance system. Currently, basic health insurance covers more than 1.3 billion people and provides universal health insurance. Rural cooperative health insurance has its own features. At the same time, the basic medical insurance against serious diseases covers all insured urban and rural residents. This has led to an increase in the level of service and an increase in the provision of medical services. In addition, the level of reimbursement of the basic insurance policy coupled with the insurance against serious diseases exceeds 80%.

Fourth, there is the continuous improvement of living conditions. Over the past 40 years, this area has undergone tremendous changes. Although some cities still have high housing prices, housing per capita has reached 30 square meters. In 2017, housing per capita reached 40 square meters.

The experience of China can be formulated with a phrase in which the idea of development is summed up: “Man is the highest consideration”. The people are the creators of history and the decisive force that determines the future and the fate of the party and the country. It is necessary to adhere to the dominant position of the broad masses of the people and follow the idea of “creating a party for the benefit of society, being in power for the sake of the people”, to practise the main goal of serving the people wholeheartedly. This means accepting the desire of people for a better life as the goal of the struggle; putting the interests of the people first; and relying on the strength of the people to accomplish great feats.

Economic construction is the central link in development

As the country with the largest population in the world, ensuring domestic economic growth and raising the living standards of the people is always a priority for the Chinese government. For many years, China viewed economic construction as a central link; sought to solve social problems through economic development; supported social stability; and ensured the development of a prosperous society through economic construction. It is important to use comprehensive tools to solve problems relating to the well-being of the people. In turn, this requires overall planning and balanced development: it is necessary to focus on reducing regional differences and the differences between urban and rural areas. Thanks to the coordinated development of the economy, society, culture and the environment, the masses not only live richly, but their social and cultural life is also full. In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to and protect the environment. Chairman Xi Jinping has repeatedly proposed the concept of environmental protection.

In general, it is important to create an equitable social-security system through reform. The old social-security system no longer exists. In the past, employees depended on enterprises, and the peasants did not have social protection. In a market economy, such a system no longer exists, and the new system is gradually being formed and strengthened; but it also faces many challenges, such as the widening gap between rich and poor; inequitable distribution; and high housing prices. The government has introduced a series of measures to address this imbalance issue.

Year: 2019
City: Almaty