China's Population and Development in the 21st Century (2000)

(December 2000)

  I. Foreword

  II. Present Situation and Future Prospects

  III. Targets and Principles

  IV. Plan of Action

       Promoting Family Planning and Offering Quality Services for Reproductive Health
       Improving the Overall Quality of the People
       Safeguarding the Rights and Interests of Women and Children
       Optimizing the Allocation of Labor Resources
       Reducing Poverty
       Protecting the Rights and Interests of the Elderly
       Improving the Living Eco-environment for the People

  V. Safeguard Measures

       Improving the Legal System
       Improving the Interest-Oriented Mechanism
       Intensifying Publicity and Education
       Building Up a Framework for Scientific and Technological Innovation
       Increasing Capital Input
       Attaching Importance to the Role of Non-Governmental and Mass Organizations
       Expanding International Exchanges and Cooperation

 

I. Foreword

  1. Mankind is about to march into the 21st century. With the rapid development of science and technology and the swift changes in the world economic order and pattern, population and development have further become an important issue, which has aroused general concern in the international community. It is becoming the common choice of all countries to seek a way to achieve the coordinated and sustainable development between the population on one hand and the economy, society, resources and environment on the other.

  2. 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 more accurately grasp the general pattern and trend of population change, further control 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 of the census will be published in time once all the data have been processed.

  3. 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 a 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 bears on the world peace and development.

  4. In line with the strategic goal of the nation's modern- ization drive and proceeding from its actual conditions, the Chinese Government has formulated and implemented a popu- lation policy conformable to China's reality, contributing greatly to the stabilization of the nation's and the world's population and to the promotion of human development and progress. The Chinese Government is willing to continue its unremitting efforts together with the international community to practically solve the problem of population and development. The Chinese Govern- ment firmly believes that China's population and development cause will be crowned with still more splendid achievements and that China will make still greater contributions to the civilization and progress of mankind in the 21st century!

  

II. Present Situation and Future Prospects

  5. Since the 1970s, especially since the initiation of reform and opening-up, China has formulated the population policy of controlling population growth and improving population quality and implemented the basic state policy of family planning in an all-round way. The Government encourages late marriage and late childbearing, and advocates the practice of "one child per couple" and of "having a second child with proper spacing in accordance with the law and 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.

  6. 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 its overall plan for national economic and social development. The Government consistently emphasizes that population growth should be compatible with socio- economic development and be concerted with resource utili- zation and environmental protection. Since the 1990s, the Central Government has held a forum on the issue of population and development once a year for the sake of discussing and analysing major problems and adopting important decisions and measures. The Government organizes and coordinates the relevant departments and mass organizations to jointly implement the population and family planning program, and strives to integrate family planning closely with the development of the economy, the reduction of poverty, the protection of ecological environ- ment, the rational utilization of resources, the popularization of culture and education, the advancement of public health and social security and the improvement of women's status, in order to seek a thorough solution to the problem of population and development.

  7. After nearly 30 years of efforts, China has successfully found its own way of comprehensively tackling the population problem. It has gradually evolved a population control system and a family planning administrative system tailored to the needs of a market economy; achieved widely known successes in the population and development program; and notably improved the citizens' rights to subsistence and development and their rights in the economic, social and cultural fields.

  -The excessive population growth has been brought under effective control. The birth rate and natural growth rate of the population decreased from 33.43‰ and 25.83‰ in 1970 to 15.23‰ and 8.77‰ 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 accomp- lished a historic change in the population reproduction type from one featuring high-birth, low-death and high-growth rates to one featuring low-birth, low-death and low-growth rates in a relatively short period of time, a change that took decades or even up to a hundred years for some of the developed countries to realize in the past.

  -China's national economy has developed at a high speed, with its overall national strength notably increased and the people's living standards greatly improved. Since the imple- mentation of the family planning program, over 300 million births in total have been averted nationally. This has saved a great amount of payment for the upbringing of children for the state and society, alleviated the pressure of the excessive population on the resources and environment, and accelerated the development of the economy and the improvement of the people's living standards. With the strategic goal of quadrupling the gross national product (GNP) of 1980 attained ahead of schedule, the Chinese people as a whole now live a relatively comfortable life. By the end of 1999, the rural poor without adequate food and clothing had 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 plum- meted from 94.7 per 100,000 in 1990 to 56.2 per 100,000 in 1998. The hospitalized delivery rate exceeded 66.8% in 1999. The average life expectancy increased to 71 years in the same year, the same as in moderately developed countries.

  -Women's status has been raised distinctly, children's rights are protected, and the living standards of senior citizens 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 of children under five was 42‰ in 1998, a decrease by 31.8% from that of 1991. In 1999, the enrollment rate of primary school-age children reached 99.1% and the rate of primary school graduates entering middle schools reached 94.4%. Also in 1999, the planned 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 retirees throughout the country were covered in the basic retirement insurance scheme, and there were some 1,000 state-run social welfare institutions and around 40,000 collective-run old folk's homes.

  -The general public has gained a better understanding of the issue of population. It is commonly agreed that the slow-down of population growth is beneficial to the coordinated and sustainable development between the population on one hand and the economy, society, resources and environment on the other; that it is necessary to practice birth control and not to let things slide; that while slowing down population growth, efforts should be made to improve the population quality, reproductive health, quality of life and wellbeing in general so as to realize an all-round human development; that the issue of population is essentially a problem of development and can only be solved ultimately through economic, social and cultural development. Meanwhile, people's attitude toward marriage, childbearing and the elderly support has undergone profound changes. The traditional concepts of "early marriage, early childbirth," "more sons, greater happiness" and "men are superior to women" have been gradually replaced by the scientific and progressive modern concepts of "late marriage and late childbearing," "fewer but healthier babies" and "viewing boys and girls in the same light." 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 decreased from 4.84 members in 1971 to 3.63 members in 1998.

  -International cooperation and exchanges in the area of population and development are constantly expanding. China is fully aware that the solution of her own population and development problem is of paramount importance to stabilizing the global population and promoting world peace and development. In the light of its own specific conditions, China has followed the basic principles laid down at all previous international population conferences and actively carried out their relevant resolutions. Since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Chinese Government has adopted a series of measures actively to carry out the ICPD Program of Action. In recent years, China has worked in effective cooperation with the international institutions like the UN Fund for Population Activities, World Health Organization and International Planned Parenthood Federation, and also governmental and non-governmental organizations of related countries in areas such as reproductive health, adolescent education, emergency contraception, and men's participation in family planning. The successful implementation of China's population and family planning program has provided useful experience and lessons for many other countries and has increasingly been acknowledged by the international community.

  8. 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 vigorously develop education, science and technology, expand social input, and raise the accumulation level. In this way, China will lay a solid foundation for speeding up economic development, increasing its overall national strength, and realizing the coordinated and sustainable development between the population and the economy, society, resources and environment. Meanwhile, with the establishment and improvement of a socialist market economic system and a sustained, fast and healthy development of the national economy, there will be a fairly strong material base for solving the problem of population and development.

  9. 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 estimated annual net increase of over 10 million in the next decade or so, which will exert great pressure on the economy, society, resources, environment and the sustainable development as a whole; it is difficult to change entirely the relatively low level of the overall population quality in a short time, which is incompatible with the rapid development of science and technology; the sharp increase of the active labor force has placed great pressure upon the job market; the arrival of an ageing 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 regions continuing to exist for a long time to come, it remains an arduous task to eradicate poverty; the increase of floating population, the entry of farmers into towns and cities, and the redistribution of the population in different areas will exert an 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 further emerge, and the complexity of the population and development issue will remain the same.

  

III. Targets and Principles

  10. China's basic considerations for tackling the population and development issue:

  Taking into consideration its basic national conditions, including a big population, inadequate per-capita resources and a low level of economic and sci-tech development, China will persistently follow its own path in tackling the issue of population and development. It will draw on other countries' managerial expertise and scientific achievements and resolve the problems constantly arising in the course of tackling its population and development issue, in accordance with its own specific conditions. China will persistently follow its sustainable development strategy, solve the population problem in the process of development, and bring about a coordinated development between the population and the economy, society, resources and environment so as to realize national modernization and the all-round development of the people. With full realization of human rights as the basic objective, China will 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 the different cultural backgrounds, religious customs and moral concepts of the people. Taking into full consideration the unity between priorities and conditions, rights and obligations, China will formulate and implement population and development plans and policies to ensure that all social members enjoy an equal opportunity for development.

  11. China's 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 average annual rate of its natural population growth should not exceed 9‰. Comprehensive medical and reproductive health services are to be offered and informed choice of contraceptive measures practiced, so as to reduce the maternal mortality rate to about 42 per 100,000 and the infant mortality rate to about 31‰. China will consolidate and improve its achievements made in the nine-year compulsory education. Priorities will be given to popularizing the nine-year compulsory education in poverty-stricken areas and areas inhabited by ethnic minorities. Social needs for senior middle school education in cities and some rural regions with favorable conditions will be basically met, with junior middle school gross enrollment rate reaching over 90% and higher education gross enrollment rate further increased. Social security system is to be basically established in urban areas and some rural areas with favorable conditions.

  -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 will be among the longest in developing countries. The people will have access to basic medicare and reproductive health services. Informed choice of contraceptive measures is to be practiced widely and the sex ratio at birth is expected to become normal. China will redouble its efforts to solve the problems consequent upon the ageing of the population. A nationwide social security system will be basically in place.

  -By the mid-21st century, the total population will gradually decrease after reaching its peak number of nearly 1.6 billion. The population quality and health level will witness an overall improvement, with senior middle school education and higher education popularized nationwide. A comprehensive, highly efficient social security system will be in place. There will be a more rational population distribution and employment structure. Population urbanization will be greatly enhanced. The Chinese people will live a much better life with their per-capita income equaling that of moderately developed nations. With a much higher level of its social culture, China will have basically realized its modernization and the coordinated development between the population and the economy, society, resources and environment.

  12. China's basic principles for solving the population and development issue:

  -Population and development should be tackled in a unified way. When speeding up the economic and social development, with priorities given to science, technology and education, China is to further improve the people's living standards and their general quality. The issue of population should be included in the overall plan for social and economic development. Various supportive policies should be formulated or improved to promote the coordinated development between the population and the economy, society, resources and environment. The existing family planning policy should be upheld and improved.

  -The population issue is to be tackled in a comprehensive way. The control and management systems for the population and family planning program should be established or improved in line with the socialist market economic system, with legal, educational, economic and administrative measures combined in tackling the population problem.

  -Government guidance is to be integrated with the people's wishes. When adopting policies and offering the necessary safeguards, the Government needs to give due consideration to both the state and individual interests, the long-term and short-term interests, the overall and local interests. Administrative measures should be integrated with mass work so as to promote the voluntary participation of the masses.

  -Nationwide promotion should be combined with specific guidance for different localities. Rural and economically underdeveloped areas should be given priorities, while the exemplary role of cities and developed regions should be given full play in further boosting the development of different regions.

  -The all-round development of the people should be taken as the focal point. 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 the efforts to develop the economy, to help the people become well-off through hard work, and to build happy and progressive families. Meanwhile, it is also necessary to offer quality service to the people.

  

IV. Plan of Action

  Promoting Family Planning and Offering Quality Services for Reproductive Health

  13. Keeping a low fertility level. It is necessary to continue the present family planning policy and persist in the existing effective working principles for the population and family planning program. A population control and management system conformable to the socialist market economic system should be established. The grass-roots work should be strengthened 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. The principle of proceeding in light of local conditions and offering specific guidance for different localities should be upheld. Priorities should be given to the family planning program in the rural areas, especially rural areas in the central and western regions, so that a balanced regional development can be realized. It is also necessary to reform and improve the target-oriented responsibility system for the population and family planning program, so that the way of thinking and the working style with regard to the family planning program can be improved.

  14. Promoting quality services. Emphasis should be put on publicity and education, contraception and regular services. It is necessary to disseminate scientific knowledge and offer quality services to people in production, daily life and childbirth, so as to meet their needs in family planning and reproductive health to the maximum and promote their all-round development.

  15. Expanding reproductive health and related industries. The quality of the products for reproductive health and their sci-tech content should be improved, the transformation of sci-tech achievements speeded up, and the R & D on reproductive health-related engineering technology and the establishment of related industrial bases strengthened. New technology and products should be introduced and the product mix optimized. Market management should be intensified and market behavior standardized.

  Improving the Overall Quality of the People

  16. Improving 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 good birth and good rearing should be publicized, to be supported by premarital 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 and childbearing injuries reduced.

  17. Improving the health of the people. It is necessary, with the emphasis on the primary health care in rural areas as the focal point, to strengthen construction of the rural health service networks, expand and improve the comprehensive rural health service system and set up and improve a rural primary medical security system of diverse forms. 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 physiological and psychological health. Health services should be enhanced in the periods of adolescence, pregnancy, maternity, menopause and old age so that people's living standards and quality of life are improved. Strenuous efforts should be made to check the spreading of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

  18. Raising the people's scientific and educational levels. It is essential to develop elementary 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, the poverty-stricken, and people of other special groups should be protected. The reform of education should be further carried out along with the promotion of quality-oriented education, thus improving the people's sense of creation and the ability to deal with actual things and enhancing the quality of talents training. The nine-year compulsory education and anti-illiteracy campaign among the young and middle-aged should be continued and the scope of senior middle school education and higher education expanded. The system of continuing education should also be improved so that a life-long educational system can be gradually established.

  19. Raising the people's ideological and moral standards. It is necessary to enhance the people's sense of law and legal concept. Established social traditions should be transformed, and outmoded conventions and practices as well as ignorant and backward concepts thrown overboard. At the same time, healthy values, moral standards, 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. Moral education for teenagers should be strengthened and attention paid to prevent them from committing dangerous acts.

  Safeguarding the Rights and Interests of Women and Children

  20. Safeguarding women's right to work. They should enjoy equal rights with men in business management and operation. Women's economic status should be enhanced, and their fields of employment expanded so that they can enjoy more job opportunities and a higher quality of employment. Women's labor rights and interests in wage and remuneration, rest and vacation, working conditions, social security and other aspects should be protected, as should special labor protection for women workers.

  21. 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 social and political affairs and to receive education; encourage women to foster a sense of self-respect, self-confidence, self-reliance and self- improvement, so as to create conditions for their participation in management and decision-making; promote a new type of family relations featuring equality, progressiveness and harmony, and reduce the burden of housework on women. Efforts should also be made to protect the special interests of the adolescents, the elderly and disabled women, crack down on illegal activities such as violent assaults, abducting and trafficking of women, prostitution and whoring, and ensure the personal safety and property rights of women.

  22. Safeguarding women's right 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 and interests in marriage, family and childbearing and the rights and interests during the period of menses, pregnancy, maternity and breastfeeding, in accordance with the law; strengthen the publicity and education of men's responsibilities in carrying out family planning and raising children and improve women's right of decision making in the family; hold health check-ups and conduct prevention and treatment of gynecological diseases among women on a regular basis, and ensure the necessary health care service for women throughout all stages of their life. Meanwhile, efforts should be made to cover the cost of contraception, birth control, and childbearing through various capital channels; and ensure essential health care and reasonable subsidy for women in their childbearing period. Any discrim- ination and maltreatment against women giving birth to female babies or women of infertility are forbidden.

  23. Helping impoverished women to shake off poverty. Sci-tech and cultural training and poverty-reduction projects should be carried out for women to help them master production skills and improve their ability to wipe out poverty and get rich. Care should be taken of the orphaned or disabled girls and single elderly women with no legal guardian and no working ability and means to make a living both in urban and rural areas.

  24. Safeguarding the rights and interests of children. Efforts should be made to safeguard children's rights to subsistence, development, protection, and participation; optimize children's living environment; foster children's all-round development- moral, intellectual and aesthetic. The whole society should be mobilized to help girls, handicapped children, children in single-parent families and in extreme poverty, and vagrant children. Any action of drowning and discarding baby girls or boys is forbidden, and such crimes as mistreatment and trafficking of children shall be severely punished.

  Optimizing the Allocation of Labor Resources

  25. Pressing ahead with urbanization energetically and steadily. Efforts should be made to strengthen the construction of urban infrastructure and service facilities, enhance the quality of urban construction and development, and optimize urban industrial structure. Active efforts should be made to develop small and medium-sized cities with the emphasis on the former, improve the functions of regional central cities, and enable large cities to serve as a radiator and locomotive. A unified plan should be mapped out for small towns, cities and villages to be reasonably distributed. Regional economic and cultural centers in rural areas will be exploited to guide the intensive development of urbanization and improve the nationwide urban system with a coordinated development of small towns and large, medium and small cities.

  26. Promoting orderly population migration and flow. Efforts should be made to set up a unified, open, competitive, and orderly labor market; reform the urban domicile control system, and gradually readjust the policy concerning change in residency in large and medium-sized cities, so that the normal rights of citizens to move and choose jobs can be guaranteed, the rational population flow and distribution between cities and countryside and among various regions can be promoted and the allocation of human resources rationalized. Efforts should also be made to provide various services for migrant people by reforming the management system and setting up efficient management and service network based on where the migrant people live and work.

  27. Increasing employment opportunities. Efforts should be made to reform the labor employment system, expand employment channels in both urban and rural areas and improve the employment structure; further develop labor-intensive industries and actively develop collective and private enterprises so as to provide more jobs; set up an employment system of the current stage, and promote flexible and varied forms of employment; expand the labor market, improve the employment service system, strengthen job training, and set up a market-oriented employment system. Efforts should also be made to set up a social security system that will cover all the urban workers and develop a favorable social environment conducive to their self-development.

  Reducing Poverty

  28. Implementing the strategy for the large-scale development of the western regions. Economic development and population control should be grasped at the same time, and the control of population growth, the enhancement of population quality, the equitable distribution of population, and the development of human resources incorporated into the overall plan for the western development strategy. 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 regions. Appropriate policies of helping the poverty-stricken people should be made in accordance with the causes of poverty in different times and regions. The goal should be switched from relieving the poverty-stricken people of their lack of food and clothing to helping poverty-stricken areas improve their level of social and economic development. A special policy should be implemented to promote the socio-economic development of the poor areas and help them gradually improve their capability for self-development through increased poverty-relief input, financial transfer and payment, project investment, promotion of science, technology and education, improvement of the ecological environment, and export of labor.

  29. Reducing the population living under the poverty line in the countryside. Efforts should be made to persevere in the principle of development-oriented poverty reduction, strengthen the work of helping the rural poor, and change their conventional ideas and ways of production and life, and encourage them to have fewer births and become well-off early by developing economy, science and technology, education, and family planning. The poverty alleviation program should focus on helping people with the lowest income and regions with a relatively large concentration of the low-income poor by improving conditions for living and production, increasing the role of science and technology in agricultural development, expanding the market, and producing market-oriented products. Efforts should be made to popularize education, improve the level of medicare and the general quality of the people, and strengthen the ability of personal development. The social security system should be set up gradually in regions with good conditions so as to reduce the rate of falling back into poverty again.

  30. Preventing the pauperization of urban citizens. Efforts should be made to gradually set up and improve the poverty-relief mechanism in cities and carry out the reem- ployment project by expanding the ways of employment; improve the basic old-age insurance, basic medical insurance, unemployment insurance and the system of guaranteeing a minimum living standard for city residents; widely set up employees' industrial injury insurance and maternity insurance so as to disperse job risks; carry out occupational rehabilitation to help injured workers regain the ability to work; encourage people to help each other and engage in charity; and develop com- mercial insurance of diverse types and set up a social security network of various levels.

  Protecting the Rights and Interests of the Elderly

  31. Establishing and improving the old-age security system. An old-age welfare service system should be set up based on home care, supported by the community welfare service and supplemented by social welfare organizations. It is necessary to set up and improve the basic old-age insurance system in cities and towns while adhering mainly to home-based care of the elderly in rural areas. Meanwhile, efforts should be made to further upgrade social assistance and the "five guarantees" (of food, clothing, housing, medicare and burial expense) and gradually establish an old-age security system combining the state, society, family and individual so as to promote the health and life quality of senior citizens.

  32. Creating a sound social environment for protecting the rights and interests of the aged. Efforts should be made to set up and improve the policies, laws and regulations for protecting the rights and interests of senior citizens, strengthen the supervision of law enforcement, and fight against the unlawful behavior such as abusing, forsaking and persecuting the elderly; carry forward such traditional Chinese virtues as respecting and loving the aged, ensuring their access to economic support, medical care, appropriate treatment, study, education and cultural entertain- ment, and providing them with a pleasant, warm and peaceful living environment. Senior citizens should be encouraged to learn science and culture, give full scope to their potentials participating in social life, and cultivate independence and self-assistance.

  33. Promoting the industry for the elderly. Efforts should be made to research and develop products that meet the material and cultural needs of old people, encourage and guide the development of the market centering on old-age household consumption; develop the socialized old-age care service, establish and expand the service facilities and network for the aged through the channel of industrialized development; adopt preferential measures with regard to taxation and loans, raise funds in multiple channels and make full use of social resources to develop the industry for the elderly.

  Improving the Living Eco-environment for the People

  34. Strengthening people's awareness of the coordinated development of population, resources and environment. Efforts should be made to promote an all-round layout of population control, environmental protection and resource exploitation to enhance the three-pronged support for the economic develop- ment; change people's traditional way of thinking and behavior in connection with resources and environment; and take measures such as "putting prevention first," "making those who cause pollution to be responsible for treating it" and streng- thening environmental management, so as to put an end to the deterioration of the environment and improve urban and rural environment. Steps should be taken to improve the economic compensation system for use of the natural resources and the renewal of resources, enhance the comprehensive utilization ratio of resources and economic results, stop the destructive exploitation of resources, alleviate the contradiction between population growth, economic growth and the limitation of resources.

  35. Altering the way of life and production. The resource- consumptive, highly pollutional and unsustainable way of life and production should be changed in favor of a resource-saving and environmental-friendly consumption structure and way of production that will facilitate sustainable development.

  36. Protecting the eco-environment of key areas. Efforts should be made to specially protect and improve the ecological environment where human and environmental resources clash sharply. City functional areas should be built scientifically and rationally, sewage and garbage disposed centrally, clean energy adopted, air pollution minimized and green belts expanded. Land, arable land in particular, should be used reasonably and economically. Strong measures should be taken to strengthen the building of the urban environmental infrastructure, regulate industrial structure and layout, shun the old way of "first pollution, next treatment," and strengthen the prevention and control of the pollution in river valleys to ensure drinking water security for the inhabitants. Measures should be taken to stop predatory development, draw up plans to restore the land reclaimed from lakes, forests and grasslands to its original state, push forward afforestation, treat soil erosion, prevent desertification, establish ecological agriculture, and strengthen the protection of bio-diversity conservation and natural resources such as arable land, water, forests, grasslands and species.

V. Safeguard Measures Improving the Legal System

  37. Enacting and improving laws and regulations. Efforts should be made to accelerate legislation and improve its quality, set up and improve the laws and regulations concerning population and development. Population problem should be taken into account as a major factor while formulating economic and social laws and regulations, so as to provide a legal safeguard for implementing the basic national policy.

  38. Upgrading the management according to law. Efforts should be made to carry forward administration in accordance with the law and improve the law-enforcement level to realize the standardization, legalization and scientification of manage- ment and service at the grass-roots level; accelerate democratic build-up at the grass-roots level to carry out democratic decision-making, management, and supervision; strengthen legal publicity and education to enhance citizens' awareness and understanding of the law; push forward the administrative law-enforcing responsibility system, improve the general quality of the public servants, and establish a management system for comprehensive control of population and family planning at the grass-roots level.

  39. Improving the system of legal supervision. Efforts should be made to enhance the supervision of law-enforcement, establish and improve a complete supervision system that comprises supervision by the jurisdiction, administration, public opinion, society and the masses. A just and open system should be established, and an examination and assessment system for administrative law enforcement set up so as to ensure the sound development of the population and family planning program.

  Improving the Interest-Oriented Mechanism

  40. Establishing a population and development control system. Efforts should be made to formulate a population strategy and regulation complying well with the social and economic development; establish and improve the policy system and management measures for comprehensive population control and family planning; and keep the balance between the population and the socio-economic development, resource utilization and environmental protection.

  41. Establishing and improving the interest-oriented mechanism related to population and family planning. By undertaking economic development, educational popularization and medicare development, people should be encouraged to consciously practice family planning. Proper economic policies should be worked out to integrate the population and family planning program with economic development, development- oriented poverty reduction and the building of a progressive and happy family by providing those family planning households with small-amount loans, priority items, sci-tech assistance and preferential policies, so as to help the farmers cope with their difficulties, have fewer babies and become well-off early.

  42. Establishing an incentive mechanism to encourage the practice of family planning. These will include vibrant subsidy and tangible benefits such as bonus for birth control and family welfare. A certain amount of bonus will be given to families with only one child. In cities, as well as in areas with favorable conditions, when they retire parents with only one child will be granted the necessary subsidies in line with their actual conditions. Families that practice family planning will be offered preferential treatment in allocating the economic income of the collectives, enjoying collective welfare, dividing the land for house-building, contracting for land management, employment, medicare, accomodation, and school and kindergarten admission.

  43. Establishing a social security system conducive to population and development, especially family planning. In the countryside, there should be set up a security system of varied forms relating to old-age support, children's safety and health, cooperative medicare, maternal and child health care, planned immunity and birth-control operation safety. In cities, efforts should be made to set up and improve the security system including old-age, medicare, unemployment and childbearing insurances. The system for ensuring a minimum standard of living for urban residents should be improved and the minimum standard of living gradually raised. The public should be encouraged to participate in social assistance and voluntary service to resolve the actual difficulties of the masses.

  Intensifying Publicity and Education

  44. Mobilizing the general public and government departments at all levels for involvement in and support for public welfare-oriented cultural development that facilitates the population and family planning program, so as to form a socialized publicity and education format. Regular publicity activities and education programs should be conducted through the mass media or other popular means and oriented toward the local communities, families and the public so as to create a healthy social environment in which all care about the population and family planning program.

  45. Developing the population culture, promoting all-round social progress, and fostering a new birth-giving culture. People should be encourged to cultivate social and family moralities, such as abiding by law and discipline, harmony of couples, respect for the old and love for the young. By doing so, it is intended to cultivate a nationwide sense of population and develop a modern, scientific, and progressive concept of marriage, childbirth, family and old-age support. Included in such a concept are becoming well-to-do based on fewer children, equality between men and women, late marriage and late childbearing. Energetic efforts should be made to offer educational programs on population and puberty, sexual health, and the health of the aged, and to popularize the scientific knowledge on contraception, birth control, good birth and good rearing, reproductive health, and healthy ageing.

  Building Up a Framework for Scientific and Technological Innovation

  46. Intensifying the study of population and development as a field of learning. Efforts should be made to develop an internationally advanced discipline of population and devel- opment, boost the combination of the social and natural sciences, and promote the development of demography, borderline discipline and interdisciplinary science, so as to develop a complete demographic theory system embracing many disci- plines and fields of study. The instructive role of population science theory will be given full play in providing theoretical support for formulating a scientific population and development policy.

  47. Promoting scientific and technological innovations. China will intensively apply the latest developments of modern science and technology, particularly those in biology, information and materials. Basic science research will be intensified. State key laboratories, centers and other bases for sci-tech innovations in the field of population and development will be established so that the overall capacity of intellectual and technical innovation can be upgraded. Research developments in the field of population will be expanded, and research of key techniques with regard to fertility regulation, reproductive health, healthier births and better childrearing, and infertility intensified. The capacity in scientific research and technological development will be enhanced, and the development, introduction and promotion of new technologies and products intensified.

  48. Further promoting quality services, with technical services at the core. Focusing on technical services, the quality of reproductive health services on fertility, birth control and infertility should be bettered. The informed choice of con- traceptive measures should be promoted, and public surveys and prevention and treatment of women's diseases conducted. Community medicare and technical service institutions will be improved so that a comprehensive market-oriented service format can be formed. A quality certification system and quality-monitoring framework with regard to family planning service will be established. Service conditions will be improved, services standardized, service areas expanded, and service quality raised.

  49. Realizing IT management of the population and development program. China will establish and improve a network of information collection, report, analysis, and announ- cement, a network which integrates population management information with information on family planning and reproductive health service. It will establish information network and document and data bases that provide grass-roots access to information on population and development and fertility, so that such information can be shared by all. It will use modern information technology and means to spread knowledge, provide information, and offer education and training on popular science.

  Increasing Capital Input

  50. Gradually increasing financial input in the population and family planning program. China will establish a stable input guarantee mechanism, including family planning expenditures into government budgets at different levels. It will gradually increase central and local financial input in the population and family planning program. The increase of that input should be bigger than the increase of financial revenues. Favorable input should go to the central and western regions, ethnic minority areas and disaster-stricken regions, where financial situations are poor.

  51. Working out a policy-related input mechanism for the population and family planning program. Enterprises and institutions are encouraged to increase their input in these areas. Preferential policies and incentive measures will be adopted and economic means used to put into place a sound social input mechanism. A multi-channel fund-raising system will be established, whereby donations from non-governmental sectors, social and international communities will be encouraged. Both public welfare fund and development fund for the population and family planning program will be established with preferential treatment in the interests of loans and their deadlines. Enterprises and individuals are welcome to invest in the population and family planning program.

  52. Increasing the efficiency of fund utilization. Remote poverty-stricken areas will be given priorities in their grass-roots network development with regard to population and family planning services. Basic development plans and standards of technical equipment will be worked out. Regional differences will be taken into consideration while seeking to rationally allocate and use the technical service resources of relevant departments, so as to make the advantages of relevant depart- ments complement each other and raise the input and output efficiency. Relevant financial transfer and payment systems and the budgetary appropriation system at various levels should be improved, and the supervision and management of fund utilization strengthened.

  Attaching Importance to the Role of Non-Governmental and Mass Organizations

  53. Encouraging the role of social and non-governmental organizations, like the women's federations, trade unions, Communist Youth League organizations, family planning associations and committees for the aged, grass-roots mass self- government organizations like the neighborhood committees and villagers committees, and other mass bodies and organizations in the management of population and family planning and relevant services. The Government will create conditions to work out policies, measures and an operation mechanism for public involvement in the population and development program and participation in decision making. The right of independence of the non-governmental sectors should be respected. They should also be provided with necessary funds, technology, information and work guidance.

  54. Intensifying the build-up of family planning associations in line with the requirements of sound organization, regular activities, exemplary role and active service. With help and support, family planning associations are encouraged to hold publicity and education activities and services of various forms in line with their own characteristics. The masses should be mobilized and instructed to proceed with self-education, self- management and self-service, so that these associations can work as bridges between the government and the people.

  Expanding International Exchanges and Cooperation

  55. Actively participating in activities of world population and development, so as to bring home to the international community China's population policy and achievements and its efforts in promoting human rights, to enhance understanding, seek common grounds while reserving differences, and increase consensus on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

  56. Intensifying cooperation with international organizations, regional bodies, foreign governments and non-governmental organizations and expanding areas and ways of cooperation with them. Projects of cooperation will involve basic research of population and family planning, publicity and education, and comprehensive services, and cooperation bases will be set up to play an exemplary role in this regard. Bilateral and multi-lateral exchanges in population and family planning will also be conducted, including exchanges and training of personnel in the fields of decision-making, management and technology. Through these exchanges the latest world developments in science and technology and other useful experiences can be learned and drawn upon.