5. Accelerating the development of social undertakings and genuinely ensuring and improving the people's wellbeing
We constantly worked to keep economic development in line with social development, and plan development with a view to improving the wellbeing of the people. We gave high priority to employment in economic and social development. We improved vocational training and employment services; helped college graduates, rural migrant workers and urban residents who have difficulty finding jobs to find employment; and helped ex-soldiers find jobs and settle down. We implemented the Labor Contract Law and the Law on Promoting Employment, raised minimum wages, and promoted harmonious labor relations. We achieved breakthroughs in the development of the social security system for both urban and rural residents; basic pension insurance for urban workers was put under unified planning at the provincial level; a method was devised to transfer pension insurance coverage for workers moving to other provinces; and there was an average 10% increase per year over the last seven years in the basic pension for enterprise retirees. In addition, the trial of a new type of pension insurance for rural residents has been extended to 24% of all counties. We actively yet prudently carried out the reform of the pharmaceutical and healthcare systems, and completed a basic medical insurance system for non-working urban residents and a new rural cooperative medical care system, which benefit 1.267 billion urban and rural residents. We achieved complete coverage of the subsistence allowance system; basically put in place an urban-rural government assistance program; and made continued progress in programs related to social welfare, preferential treatment and arrangements for entitled groups, charities, and people who are physically or mentally handicapped. Moreover, the national social security fund now stands at 781 billion yuan, over 580 billion yuan more than five years ago. We devoted great efforts to constructing low-income housing and redeveloping run-down areas, and as a result, 11 million poor households were able to move into new homes. We worked tirelessly to ensure everyone has access to old-age care, medical treatment, and housing.
We formulated and implemented the National Medium- and Long-Term Plan for Education Reform and Development. Government spending on education nationwide totaled 4.45 trillion yuan, and grew at an average annual rate of 22.4%. We made urban and rural compulsory education free so that all children of school age can receive an education at no cost. We fully implemented the system that links the salaries of teachers in compulsory education to their performance. Secondary vocational education was made free for students from poverty-stricken rural households and low-income urban households and students whose majors are related to agriculture. We accelerated the implementation of the government financial aid system for students, and government investment increased from 1.8 billion yuan in 2006 to 30.6 billion yuan in 2010. The system was expanded from institutions of higher learning to secondary vocational schools and regular senior secondary schools, and has helped fund the education of 21.3 million students and provided living expenses for over 12 million students living on campus while receiving compulsory education. We accelerated the renovation of dilapidated primary and secondary school buildings in rural areas and the development of vocational education infrastructure. We improved the overall quality of higher education, and enhanced the innovation capacity of colleges and universities. We formulated and implemented the National Medium- and Long-Term Plan for Scientific and Technological Development. The central government allocated 619.7 billion yuan for science and technology, an average annual increase of 22.7%, which resulted in a series of major achievements. Great efforts were made to improve the services provided by community-based medical and health care facilities. A special fund was included in the state budget to renovate or build 23,000 town and township hospitals, 1,500 county hospitals, 500 county traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, and 1,000 county maternity and childcare hospitals, as well as to build 2,400 community health service centers. We formulated and implemented the National Medium- and Long-Term Plan for Human Resource Development. We smoothly attained population planning objectives. Important progress was made in the reform of the cultural management system. Development of the system of public cultural services noticeably accelerated, and the culture industry developed vigorously. Philosophy and the social sciences, the press and publishing, radio, film and television, and literature and art all flourished and advanced. The construction of urban and rural public sports and exercise facilities was accelerated, and the national fitness program has taken root. We comprehensively improved the legal system and smoothly implemented the fifth five-year plan to educate the public about the law. We made innovations in and strengthened the administration of society and maintained social harmony and stability.
We won major victories in the fight against the Wenchuan earthquake and other natural disasters. The post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction work in Wenchuan was basically completed in two years instead of the scheduled three, and recovery and reconstruction work following the strong Yushu earthquake and major mudslide in Zhugqu is proceeding in an orderly manner. Passing these severe tests made the Chinese people more mature, more confident and stronger, and the great, indomitable and unyielding spirit of the Chinese nation is invincible.
We constantly deepened reform of the administrative system. We accelerated the transformation of government functions, completed a new round of reforms of government agencies, intensively carried out administration in accordance with the law, developed law-based government, made the government more service-oriented, made government affairs more open, improved the administrative accountability system, tirelessly combated corruption, and made positive progress in government capacity building.
We worked steadily and made solid progress, and the Chinese people have every reason to take pride in this. Our achievements did not come easily. They were made thanks to the broad vision and correct leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary and the concerted efforts of the Party and the people of all ethnic groups across the country. On behalf of the State Council, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the people of all ethnic groups, all democratic parties and mass organizations, and people from all walks of life. In addition, I would like to express my thanks to our compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan, and overseas Chinese. Finally, my sincere thanks go to the governments of other countries, international organizations and friends from around the world who care for and support China's modernization.
We are keenly aware that we still have a serious problem in that our development is not yet well balanced, coordinated or sustainable. This manifests itself mainly in the following: growing resource and environmental constraints hindering economic growth, imbalance between investment and consumption, large income gap, insufficient scientific and technological innovation capabilities, an irrational industrial structure, continued weakness in the agricultural foundation, uneven development between urban and rural areas and between regions, the coexistence of overall pressure to expand employment and structural shortage of qualified personnel in some industries, defects in systems and mechanisms that hinder scientific development, and our failure to meet three targets set in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan - the value-added of the service sector, its share in total employment, and spending on R&D as a percentage of GDP. Moreover, we have not yet fundamentally solved a number of issues that the masses feel strongly about, namely the lack of high-quality educational and medical resources, and their uneven distribution; increasing upward pressure on prices, and exorbitant housing price increases in some cities; increasing social problems resulting from illegal land expropriations and housing demolitions; significant problems concerning food safety; and rampant corruption in some areas. We must therefore have a strong sense of responsibility toward the country and the people and work tirelessly and painstakingly to solve these problems more quickly to the satisfaction of the people.
Looking back at the government's work during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period, we have deepened our understanding and awareness in several areas.
First, we must steadfastly undertake scientific development. We have relied on development to overcome all types of severe challenges, and all our achievements and progress in every area come from development. We must therefore continue to rely on development to resolve the difficulties and problems on the road ahead. China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come, so we must continue to take economic development as our central task and pursue scientific development. We need to put people first, make ensuring and improving their wellbeing the starting point and goal of all our work, unwaveringly work for prosperity for all and ensure that everyone shares in the fruits of development. We need to steadfastly take all factors into consideration, and coordinate urban and rural development, regional development, and economic and social development. We need to accelerate the transformation of the pattern of economic development; strongly promote innovation; conserve resources and protect the environment; ensure that economic and social development is coordinated with our population, resources and environment; and make development more comprehensive, balanced and sustainable.
Second, we must continue to closely integrate government control with market forces. Sound market forces and effective macro-control are both indispensable parts of the socialist market economy. We must be guided by realities in deciding when market forces are to play the greater role and when government control is to play the greater role. In responding to the impact of the global financial crisis, we tightened and improved macro-control, quickly corrected market distortions, remedied market failures and prevented serious economic fluctuations. All the measures we took have proven to be entirely correct. We must constantly improve the socialist market economy, and make full use of the basic role of the market in allocating resources to stimulate the internal vitality of the economy while using macro-control tools scientifically to promote long-term, steady and rapid economic development.
Third, we must consider the overall domestic and international situations. As economic globalization intensifies and China's opening up constantly deepens, our economy is becoming linked ever more closely to the world economy and the two are constantly interacting and becoming more interdependent. We must adopt a global perspective, strengthen our strategic thinking, be proficient at recognizing development opportunities presented by changes in the international situation, respond prudently to risks and challenges, make good use of both domestic and international markets and resources, correctly balance domestic development and our degree of openness to the outside world, and truly take into consideration both domestic and external demand to achieve balanced development.
Fourth, we must steadfastly use reform and opening up to provide the basic driving force for economic and social development. The only way to make the country strong and prosperous and to ensure the people's happiness is through reform and opening up, and we must implement them throughout the course of socialist modernization. We need to be more resolute and courageous in carrying out reform, and make reform decisions more scientific and reform measures better coordinated. We need to comprehensively carry out economic, political, cultural and social reforms and innovations; eradicate obstacles embedded in systems and mechanisms; fully liberate and develop the productive forces; and promote social fairness and justice. We must make improving the people's lives a pivot linking reform, development and stability; consider the intensity of reforms and the speed of development in light of the ability of society to accept changes; promote harmony and stability through reform; and make sure that people are content with their lives and jobs, society is tranquil and orderly, and the country enjoys long-term peace and stability.