|China's Population and Development in the 21st Century|
I. Current Situation and Prospect
II. Targets and Principles
III. Plan of Action
IV. Guarantee Measures
The 21st century is approaching. With the rapid development of science and technology and the swift changes in the world economic order and patterns, population and development have further become an important issue, which draws general concern of the international community. It is the common choice of all countries to seek a way to achieve sustainable development with population, economy, society, resources and environment all in harmony.
China is a developing country with the biggest population in the world. A sample survey shows that China's population had reached 1.26 billion by the end of 1999 (excluding the population of the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions and Taiwan Province), accounting for about 21% of the world population. In order to better understand the law governing and trend of the population change, further slow-down population growth, improve population quality, and properly formulate a population policy and social and economic development plan for the 21st century, the Chinese Government conducted its fifth national population census in November 2000. The result will be published in time once all data are processed.
China has a huge population, but a weak economic foundation with relatively inadequate resources per capita. These are its basic national conditions. Many contradictions and problems in China's economic and social development are closely associated with the issue of population, which has become the key factor and primary problem restricting China's economic and social development. Whether the population problem can be properly solved has the direct bearing on the improvement of the population quality and the living standards of the Chinese people, as well as the prosperity of the Chinese nation. It also concerns the world peace and development.
In line with the strategic goal of the nation's modernization drive and proceeding from national conditions, the Chinese Government has formulated and implemented a population policy which conforms to China's reality and has greatly contributed to the stabilization of the national and the world population and to the promotion of human development and progress. The Chinese Government is willing to continue its efforts together with the international community to practically solve the problem of population and development. The Chinese Government firmly believes that China's population and development cause will develop further in the 21st century and that China will make still greater contribution to the civilization and progress of mankind!
Since the 1970s, especially since its introduction of the reform and opening program, China has formulated a basic state policy to promote family planning in an all-round way so as to slow-down population growth and improve its quality in terms of health and education. The Government encourages late marriage and late childbearing, and advocates the practice of " one couple, one child" and of "having a second child with proper spacing in accordance with the law regulations". Family planning is also advocated among the ethnic minorities. Various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government have formulated their own policies and regulations according to local conditions.
The Chinese Government pays great attention to the issue of population and development and has placed it on the agenda as an important part of the overall plan of its national economic and social development. The Government consistently emphasizes that population growth should be compatible with socio-economic development and be concerted with resource utilization and environmental protection. Since the 1990s, the Central Government has convened a National Summit Meeting on the issue of population and development once a year for the sake of adopting important decisions and measures based upon discussion and analysis of the major problems. The Government organizes and coordinates the relevant departments and mass organizations to implement the population and family planning program, striving to integrate the family planning program with economic development, poverty eradication, protection of ecological environment, rational resource utilization, universal education, advancement of public health and social security, and improvement of women's status. This is aimed at seeking a thorough solution to the problem of population and development.
After nearly 30 years of efforts, China has successfully found its own way to have an integrated approach to the population issue with its own national characteristics. A system of regulating and adjusting the population growth with a proper family planning program management has gradually come into being. This is a system in keeping with market economy. China's population and development program has achieved universally acknowledged success. The citizens' rights to subsistence and development and their rights in the socio-economic and cultural fields have been notably improved.
-The excessive population growth has been brought under effective control. The birth rate and natural growth rate decreased from 33.43¡ë and 25.83¡ë in 1970 to 15.23¡ë and 8.77¡ë in 1999 respectively. The total fertility rate of Chinese women went below the replacement level, making China one of the countries with a low fertility level in the world. When economically still underdeveloped, China has accomplished a historic transition in population reproduction pattern from one featuring high birth rate, low death rate and high growth rate to one featuring low birth rate, low death rate and low growth rate in a relatively short period of time, a change that took decades or even up to a hundred years for developed countries to realize in the past.
-China's national economy has developed at a high speed, with its overall national strength increased notably and the people's living standards greatly improved. Since the implementation of the family planning program, over 300 million births in total have been averted nationally, thus resulting in having saved a great amount of payment for the upbringing of children for the society. This has alleviated the pressure of the excessive population growth on the natural resources and environment, thus accelerating the economic development and the improvement of the people's living standards. With the gross national product (GNP) quadrupled over that of 1980 ahead of schedule, the Chinese people now live a relatively comfortable life. By the end of 1999, the population under the poverty line in the rural areas has decreased from over 250 million in the late 1970s to 34 million, accounting for a drop from 33% to around 3% of the total rural population. The impoverished people in rural areas have basically enough food and clothing now.
-Great achievements have been made in various social undertakings such as education and public health. By the end of 2000, a nine-year compulsory education has been made universal by and large, and illiteracy among young and middle-aged people has been basically eliminated. On the average, the number of college students for every 10,000 people increased from 8.9 in 1978 to 32.8 in 1999. On the whole everybody has access to primary health care service. The maternal mortality rate has plummeted from 94.7 per 100,000 in 1990 to 56.2 per 100,000 in 1998. The hospitalized delivery rate reached over 66.8% in 1999. The average life expectancy increased to 71 years, the same as in medium-level developed countries.
-Women's status has been raised distinctly, children's rights are protected, and the living standard of senior citizens has been improving. Currently women amount to over one-third of all government functionaries, managerial personnel in state-owned enterprises and institutions and professionals of all trades. In 1999, employed women amounted to 46.5% of the entire workforce in China, compared to the world level of 34.5%, and women's income accounted for 80.4% of men's. The mortality for children under five was 42¡ë in 1998, a decrease by 31.8% from that of 1991. In 1999, the school-age children enrollment rate reached 99.1% and the rate of primary school graduates entering middle schools reached 94.4%. Also in 1999, the percentage of the one-year-old children inoculated with the BCG vaccine was 97.8%, the polio vaccine 97.4%, the DPT vaccine 97.8%, and the measles vaccine 97.5%. In the same year, nearly 30 million retired people throughout the country were covered in the basic retirement insurance scheme, and there were some 1,000 social welfare institutions run by the Government and around 40,000 community-run old folk's homes.
-The whole society has gained a better understanding of the issue of population. It is agreed that the slow-down of population growth is beneficial to a coordinated and sustained development of population, economy, society, resources and environment; the practice of fertility regulation should be required in a way without laissez-faire; while slowing-down population growth, efforts should be made to improve the population quality, reproductive health, quality of life and well being in general so as to realize an all-round human development; the issue of population is essentially a problem of development and could only be solved through economic, social and cultural development. The same period saw impressive changes in the people's attitude towards marriage, childbearing and the elderly support. The traditional concepts of "early marriage, early childbirth", "the more sons, the more happiness" and "men are superior to women" has been gradually replaced by the scientific and advanced concepts of "late marriage, and later childbearing, fewer and healthier births" and "boys and girls are equal". More and more people have voluntarily practiced family planning. The first marriage age for women of childbearing age averaged 23.57 years in 1998, as against 20.8 years in 1970. The contraceptive prevalence rate of married women of childbearing age reached 83%, and the average family size has decreased from 4.84 members in 1971 to 3.63 members in 1998.
-International cooperation and exchanges in the area of population and development have been expanded. China is fully aware that the solution of her own population and development problem is of significance to stabilizing the global population and promoting world peace and development. In the light of its own specific conditions, China would follow the basic principles laid down at all previous international population conferences and actively carry out relevant resolutions. Since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Chinese Government has adopted a series of measures to carry out the ICPD Program of Action. In recent years, China has worked in effective cooperation with the international institutions, and also governmental and non-governmental organizations of related countries in areas such as reproductive health, adolescents education, emergency contraception, male's participation in family planning and others. The successful implementation of China's population and family planning program has provided useful experience and lessons for many other countries and has gradually been acknowledged by the international community.
In the coming decades, China's population and development program will enter a new historical period. On the premise of stabilizing a low fertility level, China will achieve a gradual transition from a low population growth rate to zero growth, and the total population, after reaching its peak figure, will slowly decrease. In the advantageous historical period with a decreasing birth rate and a declining total social dependency ratio and rich labor resource, it is essential to develop education, science and technology in a big way, expand social input, and raise the accumulation level. Thus China will lay a solid foundation for speeding up economic development, strengthening its overall national power, and realizing the goal of a coordinated and sustained development of population, economy, society, resources and environment. Meanwhile, with the establishment and improvement of a socialist market economy and a sustained, fast and healthy development of national economy, there will be a fairly strong material base for solving the problem of population and development.
The Chinese Government soberly understands that the contradiction between population and development in China has remained sharp, and that there still exist many difficulties and challenges: the population growth will continue for a prolonged period of time, with an annual net increase of over 10 million in the next decade or so, which will exert great pressure on economy, society, resources, environment and the sustained development as a whole; it is difficult to change entirely the relatively low-level population quality in a short time, which is incompatible with the rapid development of science and technology; the sharp increase of labor force has placed great pressure upon the job market; the arrival of an aged society with still a quite undeveloped economy has made it more difficult to establish a comprehensive social security system; with the unbalanced economic and social development among different regions continuing to exist for a long period, it is a most arduous task to eradicate poverty; the increase of floating population, peasants entering towns and cities and population redistribution in different areas will exert impact on the traditional economic and social management system as well as the relevant population policies; in the process of improving the socialist market economic system, various contradictions and problems will emerge, and the complexity of the issue of population and development will remain the same.
Main guidelines for tackling the population and development issue: Taking into consideration its basic national conditions, including big population, inadequate per-capita resources and low level of economic and scientific development, China would persistently follow its own path in tackling the issue of population and development. It would draw on other countries' managerial expertise and scientific achievement and tackle its own population and development issue in accordance with its own specific conditions. China would persistently follow its sustainable development strategy and bring about a coordinated development of population, economy, society, resources and environment so as to realize national modernization with comprehensive human development. It would combine the universal principle of human rights with its national conditions, give top priority to the rights to subsistence and development, and facilitate the people's enjoyment of a higher standard of basic rights and freedom in civil, political, economic, social and cultural areas. China respects different cultural background, religious beliefs, and moral concepts. Taking into full consideration the unity between priorities and conditions, rights and obligations, China has formulated and implemented population and development plans and policies to ensure that all social members enjoy an equal opportunity for development.
Targets for the national population and development program
-By 2005, China is to have its population within 1.33 billion (excluding the population of the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions and Taiwan Province). The annual average natural growth of its population should not exceed 9¡ë. Comprehensive medical and reproductive health services are to be offered. Informed choice of contraceptive measures is practiced. The maternal mortality rate is to be reduced to 42 per 100,000 with infant mortality dropping to 31¡ë. China would consolidate and improve its achievements made in the nine-year compulsory education. Priorities would be given to popularizing the nine-year compulsory education in poverty-stricken areas and areas where ethnic minorities live in compact communities. Social needs for senior middle school education in urban and some rural regions would be met, with junior middle school enrollment rate reaching over 90% and higher education enrollment rate further increased. Social security system is to be basically established in urban and some rural areas.
-By 2010, China is to have its population within 1.4 billion and the Chinese people will lead a much better life with an obvious improvement of its population quality. The period of time for the people to receive education would be among the longest in developing countries. The people would have access to basic medical health care and reproductive health services. Informed choice of contraceptive measures is to be practiced widely and the sex ratio at birth is expected to gradually become normal. China would redouble its efforts to solve the problem of ageing of population. A nationwide social security system would basically take shape by then.
-By the mid-21st century, the total population would reach its peak number of 1.6 billion to be followed by a gradual decrease. The population quality and health level would have an overall improvement, with senior middle school education and higher education popularized nationwide. An efficient and comprehensive social security system will be in place. There will be a more rational population distribution and employment structure. The urbanization would be greatly enhanced. The Chinese people would have a much better life with their per-capita income equaling that of moderately developed nations. With a higher level of its social culture, China will have realized its modernization and achieved a coordinated development of population, economy, resources and environment. 12. Basic principles for solving the population and development issue:
-Population and development are tackled in a unified way. When speeding up the economic and social development, with priorities given to science and education, China is to further improve the people's living standard and their general quality. The issue of population should be included in the national plan for social and economic development. Various policies and measures should be formulated and implemented to make the population growth in keeping with socio-economic development, resource utilization and environmental protection. The existing family planning policy should be upheld to and improved.
-The population issue is to be solved in a comprehensive way. The management system for the population and family planning program should be further improved in line with the socialist market economy, with legal, educational, economic and administrative measures combined in tackling the population problem.
-The Government guidance is to be combined with the people's wishes. When adopting policies, the Government needs to give due consideration to both the national and individual interests, the long-term and short-term interests, and the local interests as well as the interests of the whole. Administrative measures should be integrated with mass work so as to promote the voluntary participation of the masses.
-The nationwide promotion is based upon specific guidance for different localities. Rural and under-developed areas are given priorities in economic development, while the exemplary role of cities and developed regions is given full play in further boosting the development of different regions. -It is essential to promote the human-centered development in a comprehensive way. People's status as masters of the society must be respected and their legal rights protected. It is necessary to integrate the family planning program with economic development. Assistance especially quality service should be offered to the people in their endeavors to have happy and more civilized families.
Promoting Family Planning with Quality Services for Reproductive Health
In order to keep a low fertility level, it is necessary to continue the present family planning policy and follow the effective working principles in implementing population and family planning program. The population regulation and management system should be introduced in line with the socialist market economy. The grassroots work should be intensified and favorable conditions actively created so that the population and family planning program can be integrated with the community management system and the comprehensive service network. Priorities should be given to the family planning program in the central and western rural areas so that a balanced regional development can be realized. It is also necessary to reform and improve the population management system of the program objectives, so that the way of thinking and the working style with regard to the family planning program can be improved.
Quality services should be greatly promoted. Emphasis should be put on information, education, communication, contraception and regular services. It is necessary to disseminate knowledge on science and offer quality services to people in their daily life and childbearing matters, so as to meet their needs in family planning and reproductive health, thus promoting human development in a comprehensive way.
It is also necessary to develop industries related to reproductive health. Quality of the products for reproductive health should be improved, transformation of high-tech achievements speeded up, and research on reproductive health enhanced with the establishment of industrial bases. With the product mix optimized, new technology and products should be introduced. Market management should be intensified and market behavior standardized.
Improving the Overall Quality of the Entire People of the Nation
In order to improve the quality of newborn babies, it is essential to improve the health of women and children by promoting the maternal and child health care. Knowledge on bearing and rearing better children should be publicized and supported by pre-marital medical check-up, antenatal diagnosis, genetic counseling, prevention and treatment of newborn babies' diseases, and other preventive technical services. Pregnant and prenatal care should be improved, and hospitalized delivery and breast-feeding encouraged. In this way, the maternity and child health care can be improved with birth defects reduced.
In order to improve the people's health, it is necessary to strengthen construction of the rural health service networks based upon the primary health care clinics. Medical security system at various levels should also be established and improved. It is also necessary to conduct health education among farmers, with a view to improving their sense of health and the ability of self-health care. Physical exercises should be widely promoted for the sake of the people's health. Efforts should be made to improve the people's living environment and conduct psychological consultations so as to improve their physical and mental health. Health services should be enhanced in the periods of adolescence, pregnancy, maternity, menopause and old age so that people's living standard and their quality of life are improved. Strenuous efforts should be made to check the spreading of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
In order to raise the people's educational level, it is essential to develop basic education, vocational education, adult education and education for the aged. The rate of illiteracy should be further reduced. The right to education of the minors, women, ethnic minorities, the handicapped and the poverty-stricken people should be protected. The reform of education should be further carried out alongside with the promotion of quality education, thus improving the sense of creation and the ability to deal with actual things. The nine-year compulsory education and anti-illiteracy campaign among the young and the middle-aged should be continued so that senior middle school education and education of higher learning can be expanded. The system of continuing education should also be improved so that a life-long educational system could be gradually established.
In order to raise the people's ideological and moral standards, it is necessary to enhance the people's sense of law and concept of rule by law. Outmoded regulations and bad habits as well as old backward ideology should be changed and superstitions discarded. At the same time, healthy values, moral standards, good public opinions on culture and social practices are to be encouraged. Great importance should be attached to the healthy development of youngsters by providing them with colorful and meaningful cultural and educational activities. The young people's understanding of morality should be strengthened so that their improper behaviors could be avoided.
Safeguarding the Rights and Interests of Women and Children
Women's rights to work should be safeguarded. They should enjoy the equal rights with man in business management and operation. Women's economic status should be enhanced, and their fields of work expanded so that they enjoy more working opportunity and higher quality of work. We insure women's rights to get proper payment, to have holidays, to enjoy good working conditions and social security and to be protected in special labor.
Safeguarding the political, social, and cultural rights of women. Efforts should be made to realize the equality between men and women and optimize the environment for women's development by eliminating discrimination against women; safeguard women's rights to participate in political and social affairs and to receive education; encourage women's self-esteem, self-confidence and independence, creating conditions for their participation in management and decision-making process; promote a new type of family relations by reducing the burden of housework for women. Protect the special interests of the adolescents, the elderly and disabled women; and crack down on crimes such as violence, trafficking and prostitution, insuring the personal safety and property rights of women.
Safeguarding women's rights to childbearing in accordance with the law. Efforts should be made to enhance women's understanding of health care and guide their ideas on marriage and childbearing; safeguard women's rights of marriage, family and childbearing and the rights during the period of menses, pregnancy and maternity; strengthen the publicity and education of man's role and responsibility in carrying out family planning and raising children and improve women's rights of decision making in family; held health check-up, prevention and treatment of reproductive tract infections to women on a regular basis, insuring much-needed lifelong medical service for women at different stages of their life. Meanwhile, efforts should be made to cover the cost of contraception, fertility regulation, and childbearing by pooling various capital resources; and insure preliminary health care and reasonable subsidy for women in their childbearing period. Any discrimination against women giving birth to female baby or women of infertility is forbidden.
Helping women relieve from their poverty. To carry out scientific and technical training should be carried out for women to improve their ability to wipe out poverty. Care should be taken to the orphaned or disabled girls and single elderly women with no legal guardian, no working ability and means to make a living both in urban and rural areas.
Safeguarding the rights and interests of children. Efforts should be made to safeguard children's rights to subsistence, development, be protected, and participate by optimizing children's living environment; ensure the all-round development of children by cultivating both their mind and body. The whole society should be mobilized to help girl child, disabled girls, children in single parent families and in poverty, and street children. Any action of maltreating, drowning and discarding girls is forbidden, and such crimes as mistreatment and trafficking of children ought to be severely punished.
Optimizing Labor Resources
Pressing ahead with urbanization. Efforts should be made to strengthen construction of urban infrastructure and service section, enhance the quality of urban construction and development, and optimize urban industrial structure. Special efforts should be made to stress the development of small and medium-sized cities, improve the function of regional central cities, and develop the area surrounding large cities. A plan should be mapped out for small towns, cities and villages reasonably distributed. Regional economic and cultural centers will be exploited to build a nationwide system coordinated development of small towns and cities, medium-sized and large cities.
Promoting orderly migration of people. Efforts should be made to set up a unified, open, competitive, and orderly labor market; reform the residence registration policy in cities and towns, and gradually change the policy concerning change in residency in large and medium-sized cities, so that the rights of people to move and chose jobs freely can be guaranteed and the redistribution of human resources between cities and countryside and among various regions can be realized; and provide various services for migratory people by reforming the management system and setting up efficient management network based on where the migratory people live and work.
Increasing employment opportunities. Reform labor system and expand employment opportunities and improve the job structure. Further develop labor-intensive industries and actively develop collective and private enterprises so as to provide more jobs. Set up labor system of different stages, and promote flexible and varied forms of employment. Develop labor market, consummate employment services, strengthen job training, and set up a market-oriented labor system. Set up a social security system that will cover all the working people and develop a favorable social environment conducive to the self-development of the working people.
Implementing the strategy for the development of the western regions. The policy of slow-down population growth, enhancement of population quality, equitable distribution of population, and the development of human resources should be incorporated into the said strategy so that a coordinated development of economy and population can be reached. Measures should be taken for the east to help the west, for cities to help the countryside, and for developed regions to help the underdeveloped areas. The policy of helping the poverty-stricken people should be made in accordance with the reasons of poverty in different times and regions. The goal should be switched from relieving the poverty-stricken people of lack of food and clothes to helping improve the level of social and economic development of poverty-stricken area. A special policy should be implemented to help the impoverished regions improve their capability for self-development by providing fiscal subsidies, project investment, developing science, technology and education, improving ecological environment, and exporting labor.
Reducing the population living under poverty line in countryside. Efforts should be made to strengthen the work of relieving poverty by developing economy, science and technology, education, and family planning. The poverty alleviation program should focus on helping the people with the lowest income and the poverty-stricken regions with relatively dense population by improving conditions for living and production, increasing the role of science and technology in agricultural development, and producing market-oriented products and expanding the market. We will realize the goal of popularizing education, improving the level of medicare and the quality of people, and strengthening the ability of personal development. Social security system can be set up gradually in regions with good conditions so as to reduce the rate of falling back to poverty again.
Preventing pauperization of urban citizens. We will gradually set up and consummate poverty-relief system in cities and carry out the project of reemployment by expanding the ways of employment. We will consummate the basic insurance for the elderly, health care, unemployment insurance and the system of insuring basic living standard for city residents; widely set up working safety insurance and reproduction insurance to relieve the working risks; set up working rehabilitation system to help the injured workers regain the ability to work; set up a social security network of various levels, by encouraging people to help each other and engage in charity, and develop commercial insurance.
Guarantee the rights of the elderly
Establishing and improving the elderly support system. The old-age welfare service system should be based on the family supply, supported by the community welfare service and supplemented by the social welfare organizations. We will set up and improve the basic insurance system for the elderly in the cities and towns while mainly adhering to family-based insurance of the elderly in the rural areas. Meanwhile, we should further upgrade the social assistance as well as the "five-guarantee" supply mechanism focusing on guaranteeing food, clothing, housing, medicare and burial service; and gradually establish insurance system combining the country, society, family and individual so as to promote the wholesomeness and the life quality of the old people.
Creating the sound social environment for protecting the rights and interests of the aged. Efforts should be made to set up and improve the policies, regulations and laws for protecting the rights and interests of the old people, strengthen the supervision by law-enforcement, and fight against the unlawful behavior such as abusing, forsaking and persecuting the old people; carry forward such Chinese traditional virtues as respecting and loving the aged, ensuring their access to the economic supply, medical care, appropriate treatment, study and education, cultural entertainment while providing the old people with a pleasant, warm and peaceful living environment. The old people should be encouraged to learn science and culture, give full scope to their potentials participating into the social life, and cultivate independence and self-assistance.
Striving to develop industry for the elderly. Efforts should be made to study and develop the products that meet the material and cultural needs of the old people, encourage and lead the development of the market centering on the old-age household consumption; develop the old-age insurance socialized service by industrializing the establishment and development of the social service facilities and network; adopt some preferential measures with regard to taxation and loans to raise funds in a multiple way to develop the industry for the elderly.
Improve the Ecological Environment for Human Settlement
Strengthening people's awareness of the coordinated development of population, resources and environment. Efforts should be made to promote the all-round layout of slow-down population growth, environmental protection and resource exploitation to enhance the three above-mentioned factors' support for the economic development, change people's traditional way of thinking and behavior, and take measures such as "putting prevention first, making those who cause pollution to be responsible for treating it and strengthening environmental management" to put an end to the situation in which environment is deteriorating and improve urban and rural environment. Measures should be taken to improve the economic compensation system for paid use of the natural resources and the renewal of resources, enhance the comprehensive use rate of resources and economic profits, stop the destructive exploitation of natural resources, alleviate the controversy between the explosive population, the economic growth and the limitation of the resources.
Altering the way of life and production. The over-consumption of resources, heavy-pollution, unsustainable way of life and production should be changed to make way for a resource-saving and environmentally-friendly consumption structure and way of production in favor of the sustainable development.
Protecting the eco-environment in key areas. Efforts should be made to specially protect and improve the ecological environment where human and environmental resources clash sharply. With the city's functional areas built scientifically and rationally, sewage and garbage will be disposed centrally, and clean energy will be adopted to help minimize air pollution. Land, the arable land in particular should be used reasonably and economically. Strong measures will be taken to strengthen the building of the urban environmental infrastructure, regulate industrial structure and lay-out, shun the unpromising way of "first pollution, last treatment", strengthen the prevention and control of the pollution in major river valleys to ensure the security of the drinking water of the inhabitants. Measures should be taken to stop predatory development, and return what have been seized from lakes, forests and grasslands to them, push forward the work of planting trees and grass, treat soil erosion, prevent and control the desertification, establish ecological agriculture, strengthen the protection of natural resources such as arable land, water, forest, grassland and bio-diversity conservation.
Improve the Legal System
Enacting and improving rules and regulations. Efforts should be made to accelerate the legislation and improve its quality, set up and strengthen the laws concerning population and development. Population problem should be studied as a major factor used to produce economic and social rules and laws, providing the legal support for implementing the basic state policy.
Upgrading the management according to the law. Efforts should be made to carry forward administration by the law and strengthen the law-enforcement to realize the standardization, legalization and scientification of management and service at the grassroots level; accelerate the democratic construction at the grassroots level to carry forth democratic decision-making, management, and supervision; strengthen legal promulgation and education to enhance the legal awareness and idea of the public; push forward the execution and law-enforcing responsibility system, improve the quality of the public servants, establish a sound management system for implementing population and family planning at the grassroots level.
Improving the system of legal supervision. Efforts should be made to enhance the supervision of law-enforcing, establish and improve the complete supervision system, comprising the supervision by the jurisdiction, the supervision by the execution, the public opinion, the society and the masses; establish the just and open system, as well as the examination and assessment system for those who administer and enforce laws so as to ensure the sound development of the cause of population and family planning.
Improve Interest-Oriented Mechanism
Establishing the regulation system for population and development. Efforts should be made to produce the population strategy and regulation complying well with the social and economic development, establish and improve policy system and management measures combining the treatment of population with the family planning, keep the balance among the population, social development, resources and environmental protection.
Establishing and improving the interest-oriented mechanism related to population and family planning. By undertaking economic development, educational popularization and development of medicare cause, people should be encouraged to consciously practise family planning. Proper economic policy should be worked out to combine the work of population and family planning with the economic development, anti-poverty effects and the building of a cultural and happy family by providing those family planning households with small-amount loans, priority items, scientific assistance and preferential treatment, hoping to help the farmers cope with their difficulty and make money by having fewer babies.
Establishing incentive mechanism encouraging the family planning. These will include vibrant subsidy and tangible benefits such as bonus for fertility regulation and family welfare. A certain amount of bonus will be given to the family with only child. Necessary assistance will be granted to the parents with only child when they retire in line with local conditions. The family that carries out family planning will be offered preferential treatment in allocating economic income of the collectives, enjoying collective welfare, dividing the field for house-building, contract for land management, employment, medicare, and sending their children into the kindergarten.
Establishing social security system conducive to population and development, especially family planning. In the countryside, there will be the multiple security system relating to the old-age insurance, children's safety and health, cooperative medicare, maternal and child health care, planned immunity and birth-control operation safety; in the city, efforts will be made to set up and improve the security system including the old-age insurance, medicare insurance, unemployment insurance, and child-bearing insurance. The system for ensuring a minimum standard of living for urban residents will be improved to upgrade gradually the insurance of a minimum standard of living. The society will be encouraged to participate into social assistance and voluntary service to resolve actual difficulties of the masses.
Intensifying Publicity and Education
Mobilizing the society and government departments for involvement in and support for cultural development that facilitates population and family planning, by which a socialized publicity and education format is formed. Regular publicity activities and education programs should be conducted through public media or other popular means so that local communities, families and the public can benefit and facilitate a healthy social environment in which all care about population and family planning.
Developing the population culture, promoting social progress, and boosting a new birth-giving culture. People should be encourged to develop social moralities and family virtues that include abiding by law, harmony of couples, respect for the old and love for the young. By doing so, we intend to cultivate the national sense of population and develop a scientific, culturally advanced concept of marriage, family and support for the old. Included in such concept are becoming well-to-do based on fewer children, equality between men and women, and late marriage and late childbearing. We should actively offer educational programs on population and puberty, sexual health, and the health of the aged. We should also popularize knowledge on contraception, healthy childbearing and childrearing, reproductive health, and healthy aging.
Building up a Framework for Scientific and Technological Renovation
Intensifying course study of population and development. China will work to develop an internationally advanced course of study on population and development. By boosting combination of social sciences and natural sciences, China will develop a comprehensive theory system of population studies that includes new subject areas of population, frontier subjects, and cross subjects. The instructive role of population science theory will be given full play and will be made to support decision making in population and development.
Promoting scientific and technological innovations. China will intensively apply latest developments of modern science and technology, particularly those new achievements in biology, information and materials. Basic science research will be intensified. State key laboratories in areas of population and development, and development centers or bases in science and technology will be established so that capacities of intellectual and technical innovation are upgraded. We will expand research developments in areas of population, and intensify research of key techniques with regard to fertility regulation, reproductive health, healthier births and better child rearing as well as infertility. We will intensify capacity in scientific research and technological development, as well as intensify development and introduction of new technologies and products, and boost their application.
Further promoting quality services, particularly with technical services at the core. Focusing on technical services, the quality of care reproductive health services on fertility, contraception and infertility should be delivered to the people. We will promote the informed choice of contraceptive measures, conduct public surveys and preventive treatment of women's diseases. Grassroots medical services and technical service institutions will be improved so that a comprehensive market-oriented service format is formed. A quality certification system and quality-monitoring framework with regard to family planning should also be established. We will improve service conditions, standardize services, expand service areas and raise qualities of services.
Realizing a computerized management of population and development. We will establish and improve a network of information collection, report, analysis, and announcement, a network which combines population management information and service information of family planning and reproductive health together. We will establish information network and document databases that provide grassroots access to information on population and means to spread knowledge, provide information, and offer education and training on popular science.
Expanding Money Input
Gradually increasing financial input in population and family planning programs. We will establish a stable guarantee mechanism of input, including family planning expenditures into government budgets at different levels. We will gradually increase central and local financial input in population and family planning programs. The increase of that input should be bigger than the increase of financial revenues. Much favorable input should go to western regions, ethnic minority areas and disaster-stricken regions, where financial situations are poor.
Working out a policy mechanism of financial input for population and family planning programs. Enterprises and government institutions are encouraged to increase their input in these areas. We will work out favorable policies and awarding measures. By economic means, we put into place a sound social input mechanism. We will also establish a multi-channel fund-raising system, in which donations from non-governmental sectors, social and international communities are welcome. Both public fund and development fund for population and family planning are established and interests of loans and their terms are favored. Enterprises and individuals are welcome to put investment in population and family planning programs.
Increasing efficiency of fund utilization. Remote poverty-stricken areas will be given priorities in their grassroots network development with regard to population and family planning services. Basic development plans and standard of technical equipment will be followed. We should take regional differences into consideration and rationally allocate and use technical resources of relevant departments and to make the advantages of relevant departments complementary with each other so as to raise the input and output efficiency. We should also improve relevant financial transfer and payment system and the allocation system at various levels and at the same time strengthen supervision and management of fund utilization.
Attaching Importance to the Role of Non-Governmental and Mass Organizations
Encouraging the role of social and non-governmental organizations, like the Women's Federation, the Trade Union, the Communist Youth League, the Association for Family Planning, the Committee on Aging, neighborhood committees, and village committees, in the management of population and family planning and relevant services. The Chinese Government will create conditions to facilitate policy measures and a functional mechanism in which non-governmental sectors can involve in the work of population and development. Such organizations and sectors are welcome to participate in decision making. Their rights of self-reliance are respected. They are also provided with necessary fund, technology, and information and work instructions.
Intensifying establishment of family planning associations in line with principles of being broader-based, regular, exemplary and active. With help and support, family planning associations are encouraged to hold various information, education and communication activities and services in line with their own conditions. People are mobilized and instructed to proceed with self-education, self-management, and self-services so that these associations can work as bridges between the government and the people.
Expanding International Exchanges and Cooperation
Actively participating in activities of world population and development, through which international communities are made aware of China's population policy, its achievements and efforts made in promoting the human rights. China advocates mutual understanding and seeking and expanding common grounds while reserving differences based on equality and mutual respect.
Intensifying cooperation with international organizations, regional bodies, foreign governments and non-governmental organizations and expanding areas and ways of cooperation with them. Projects that relate to basic research of population and family planning, publicity and education, and comprehensive services will be given priority. Bilateral and multi-lateral exchanges in population and family planning will also be conducted, including exchanges of and training for personnel in the fields of decision-making, management and technology. Through these exchanges the latest developments in science and technology and other useful experiences can be learned.
Information Office of the State Council Of the People's Republic of China
December 2000, Beijing