Full Text: Progress in China's Human Rights in 2013

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Poverty reduction in rural areas is making steady headway. In 2013 the State Council issued Opinions on Promoting Rural Poverty Alleviation though Innovation Mechanisms. The central government appropriated 39.4 billion yuan on poverty reduction, an increase of 6.2 billion yuan over the previous year. In 2013 some 16.5 million rural residents got rid of poverty. The per capita net income for rural residents in the counties which are key targets of the government's poverty-reduction work reached 5,389 yuan, an increase of 787 yuan over 2012, or up 13.8 percent in real terms, a growth rate higher than that of the average level in China.

Education in poverty-stricken areas is better ensured, with bigger efforts being made in this regard. The expenditure from public finance on education in 2013 was 2187.7 billion yuan, up 3 percent over the previous year and mainly focusing on poverty-stricken rural areas. In the same year, the central financial body allocated 19 billion yuan of nutrition subsidies (including 2.218 billion yuan of government awards and subsidies for local pilot projects) and a special fund of nearly 10 billion yuan for building student dining halls. By the end of 2013 some 32.45 million rural students receiving compulsory education were benefiting from the nutrition subsidy policy. A total of 699 counties with contiguous poor areas (including 19 regiment-level entities of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps) in 22 provincial-level administrative areas carried out pilot projects, covering 95,900 schools and benefiting 32 million students; 529 counties in 19 provincial-level administrative areas launched pilot projects, covering 39,800 schools and benefiting 10.02 million students. The central government appropriated 10 billion yuan to upgrade rural schools with poor compulsory education conditions, with the focus on supporting the central and western rural areas, regions inhabited by ethnic minorities and poverty-stricken areas in improving their compulsory education conditions. The government allocated 16.5 billion yuan of funds from the central budget to support and lead the expansion of preschool educational resources in various regions, and to encourage the local governments to establish the preschool education financial assistance system so as to help impoverished children, orphans and disabled children receive preschool education; the government also provided 4.647 billion yuan of national grants to regular senior high schools, benefiting nearly 5 million students from poverty-stricken households; secondary vocational education was made free for all rural students, urban students whose majors are related to agriculture, and urban impoverished students, and the first- and second-grade students whose majors are related to agriculture or who are from impoverished households enjoy national grants. Thirty provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government) have released policies allowing the children of rural migrant workers who live in cities to take the local college entrance examinations, and 12 provinces and municipalities have started solving the problem.

Chinese citizens enjoy better and equal cultural services. China has continued to implement the National Construction Plan of Prefectural (City) Level Public Cultural Facilities, and has started the project of building demonstration sites of the national public service system, with 18 billion yuan of funds from the central and local public finance. By the end of 2013, with the cultural information resource-sharing program, China had built one service center at the national level, 33 sub-centers at the provincial level, 2,843 branches at the county level, 29,555 service stations at the township (subdistrict) level, and 602,000 service outlets at the incorporated village (community) level, and the service outlet coverage in some provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government) has extended to unincorporated villages; China has built 42,654 public electronic reading rooms, among which 27,706 are in townships, 2,282 are in subdistricts and 12,666 are in communities. In 2013 public libraries in China handed out 28.77 million library cards, 3.93 million more than in the previous year; the number of visits to libraries reached 492.32 million, 57.95 million more than in the previous year. In the same year, cultural institutes across the country organized 1.2884 million activities of various kinds to provide services to 434.31 million people. China has delivered public cultural resources directly to communities by implementing a series of major cultural projects benefiting the people, including providing radio and television services to every household of rural areas, launching the national cultural information resource-sharing program, building libraries for farmers, projecting free films in rural areas, and setting up township cultural stations. In 2013 the country' s total funds for culture, sports and media services provided by the public finances reached 251.956 billion yuan, an increase of 11.1 percent as compared with the previous year. The central government spent 17 billion yuan on the building of the public cultural service system, an increase of 1.6 billion yuan, or 10.55 percent over the previous year. The government uses incremental funds mainly at the community level and in rural areas, and provides preferential policies to former revolutionary base areas, areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, border areas and impoverished regions. Public cultural services have also been made more equitable.

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