Xi: Reform and opening-up improves people’s lives
Updated 11:29, 21-Dec-2018
Living standards have improved as a result of China's development over the past 40 years, President Xi Jinping said at a conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up on Tuesday.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, cited all-around progress in ensuring access to childcare, education, employment, medical services, elderly care, housing and social assistance.
The president said per capita disposable income increased from 171 yuan to 26,000 yuan nationwide, and the middle-income group continues to expand.
It was “a miracle in mankind's fight against poverty,” that 740 million Chinese people had been lifted out of poverty, bringing the poverty headcount ratio down by 94.4 percentage points, Xi noted.
Education has seen all-round development, with the percentage of students completing nine-year compulsory education reaching 93.8 percent, Xi said.
China has built the largest social safety net in the world, covering elderly care, healthcare, subsistence allowances and housing, Xi noted, adding that basic old-age pension schemes cover more than 900 million people, and health insurance plans cover more than 1.3 billion people.
Permanent urban residents now account for 58.52 percent of the total population, up by 40.6 percentage points, he noted.
Life expectancy has been extended from 67.8 years in 1981 to 76.7 years in 2017, Xi added.
Xi said that the hunger, shortage and poverty that plagued the Chinese people for thousands of years had generally been left behind.