China's new five-year plan period starts in 2011, and local governments across the country are mapping out their own plans. But this year, instead of economic growth, improving people's happiness is on the top of their agendas.
The key to make people happy is to make them rich. From the developed coastal areas to the underdeveloped hinterland, governments at all levels have put their focus on increasing people's income.
According to its new five-year plan, Beijing will lower its GDP growth by one percentage point and raise residents' income by two. Chongqing will restructure its income distribution system and aim to lower the Gini Coefficient from the current 0.42 to 0.35.
A string of measures have also been taken to improve the social security network in order to relieve people's family concerns.
In northern China, Shanxi Province has developed plans to cover freelance, migrant workers and farmers within the social security network, and Shandong Province has promised to enhance its aid to the disadvantaged when prices rise.
Improving services for citizens is another method local governments are focusing on to make people happy.
Guangdong Province in south China has pledged to reform its social system and provide better public services to people, and Anhui Province in southeast China said it would put more emphasis on social management instead of economic development.
According to a survey by the People's Daily Online on Feb. 20, more than 30 percent of the 11,519 respondents chose "economic status," "quality of life" and "public services" as the three primary factors affecting their happiness. Netizens have urged local governments to standardize administration and better fulfill their responsibilities of serving the public.