4. Maximizing Employment
China advocates an employment-first strategy and a proactive employment policy. It encourages widespread entrepreneurship and innovation, and gives top priority to ensuring stability in employment and people's wellbeing. It is committed to realizing fuller employment, with decent jobs for all and harmonious labor relations. It has established a five-tiered employment services network covering the province, city, county, sub-district/township, and community/village levels.
As of 2020, there were 45,800 employment services agencies in China, helping 290 million people find temporary or long-term work; China's employed population reached 750 million, of whom 463 million were in urban areas. In 2019, the growth in new jobs in urban areas was 13.5 million, and the figure had remained above 13 million for seven consecutive years. In 2020, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were 11.9 million new jobs in urban areas.
Private enterprises provide more than 80 percent of urban jobs. New industries and new business forms and models continue to emerge, creating a large number of part-time or flexible jobs. Workers' incomes are increasing rapidly. The average annual salary of employees in urban non-private units rose from RMB615 in 1978 to RMB90,501 in 2019.
5. Enhancing Public Cultural Services
Over the past four decades, China's public cultural services have continued to improve. Art, literature, culture and sports are thriving.
In 2020, China had 3,212 public libraries, 5,788 museums, 3,321 cultural centers, 32,825 township-level cultural stations, and 575,384 village-level cultural service centers. In publishing, 27.7 billion copies of newspapers, 2 billion copies of magazines, and 10.1 billion copies of books were issued, a per capita average of 7.2 books.
In 2020, the coverage of radio programs was 99.4 percent, and the coverage of TV programs 99.6 percent. The country produced 202 TV series, TV animations with a total length of 116,688 minutes, 531 feature films, and 119 popular science films, documentaries, animated cartoons and special films. Public-interest cultural initiatives to ensure radio and television coverage for all households, bring cinema to rural communities, and set up rural libraries were implemented to provide consistent and equal access to basic public cultural services and to protect the people's basic cultural rights and interests.
In 2020, a total of 1,274 terabytes of public cultural resources were created through projects under the public digital cultural services program. Among them, the digital library project covered 39 provincial-level and 376 city-level libraries, with services radiating into 2,760 county-level libraries.
The state is promoting a national fitness program. Sports venues of various types have been built or renovated, including public stadiums, fitness centers, sports parks, running trails, soccer fields, and multifunctional fitness facilities. In 2020, there were 3.7 million sports venues in China, with a total floor area of 3.1 billion sq m (2.2 sq m per capita); 37.2 percent of the population took part in regular exercise; the rural fitness program covered almost all villages.
6. Guaranteeing the Right to Education
China runs education for the public good and regards equal access to education as a basic national education policy. It has made significant progress in protecting the right to education. The gross enrollment rate in three-year preschool education rose to 85.2 percent in 2020 from 56.6 percent in 2010. In 2020, the completion rate of compulsory education was 95.2 percent, and the availability of compulsory education reached the average level of high-income countries. More than 95 percent of children with disabilities received compulsory education.
The state has established a policy system for subsidizing students with financial difficulties, which offers full coverage from preschool to postgraduate education. As a result, the goal of ensuring that no student drops out of school due to financial difficulties has now been largely achieved. The state gives more support to education in rural areas and central and western regions. Thanks to this, 96.8 percent of the counties nationwide have realized balanced compulsory education, and more children in rural areas and central and western regions enjoy better access to quality education.
The gross enrollment rate in senior secondary education increased from 42.8 percent in 2000 to 91.2 percent in 2020, higher than the average of upper-middle-income countries. The gross enrollment rate in higher education rose from 12.5 percent in 2000 to 54.4 percent in 2020. China has built the world's largest higher education system, with over 40 million students on campus.
7. Expanding Social Security to Cover All Citizens
Social security is a basic institutional guarantee for safeguarding and improving people's lives, ensuring social equity and enhancing their sense of wellbeing.
In 2020, 340 million people were covered by basic medical insurance for urban workers, and 1.02 billion by basic medical insurance for rural and non-working urban residents – a total of 1.36 billion. As of June 2021, basic old-age insurance for urban workers covered 467 million people, basic old-age insurance for rural and non-working urban residents covered 547 million, and unemployment insurance covered 222 million. Work-related injury insurance covered 274 million, 90.8 million of whom were migrant workers. Childbirth insurance covered more than 235 million people. In addition, the state has established a serious illness insurance covering both urban and rural residents, which is a supplement to the basic medical insurance systems, reimbursing the victims of serious illnesses for their high medical expenses.
China has established a comprehensive and inclusive social assistance system whose main provisions are subsistence allowances, assistance and support for severely impoverished people, disaster relief, medical assistance, education assistance, housing assistance, employment assistance, and temporary assistance, supplemented by public participation. At the end of 2020, 8 million people lived on urban subsistence allowances, 36.2 million on rural subsistence allowances, 310,000 on assistance and support for urban residents in extreme difficulty, and 4.5 million on assistance and support for rural residents in extreme difficulty. In 2020, 13.4 million received temporary assistance; 186 million received medical assistance worth of RMB54.7 billion.
To guarantee a basic living to people in difficulties caused by Covid-19, the government provided temporary subsidies totaling RMB21.8 billion to residents in need when the Consumer Price Index fluctuates beyond a certain range, benefitting 400 million people. Due to impact from Covid-19, subsistence allowances were extended to an additional 2.4 million people facing difficulties, and 2.5 million received temporary assistance.