The right to work and enjoy social security is a fundamental right of citizens, having a direct bearing on their vital interests. As the most populous and largest developing country in the world with a relatively low level of economic development, China is faced with an onerous task of promoting its work in this regard.
Proceeding from China's actual conditions, and in accordance with the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese government has made remarkable achievements in ensuring its citizens' right to work and enjoy social security, and in improving labor and social security management and services.
Immediately after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese government took a series of effective measures, successfully solving the serious problem of unemployment left over by the old China and ensuring the people's basic livelihood. Under the planned-economy system, China adopted highly concentrated employment, wage and labor insurance systems, which played a positive role in making comprehensive arrangements for employment, guaranteeing the livelihood of employees, and promoting economic construction and social stability at that time. However, with the progress of history, the old labor and social security system had become unadaptable to the requirements of economic and social development.
Since 1978, China has adhered to the policy of reform and opening-up, with the focus on economic construction, and has gradually stepped onto the road of establishing a socialist market economy system. As a result, labor and social security undertakings have developed rapidly. By rationally readjusting the employment structure, increasing overall employment and setting up a market-oriented employment mechanism, the Chinese government has brought about a basically stable situation in employment. By maintaining harmonious and stable labor relations and reforming the wage and income distribution system, the government has improved the labor standards system step by step, and helped to basically establish a new type of labor relations. The reform and improvement of the social security system has enabled the social insurance system to cover the vast majority of employees and retirees in urban areas. The system for ensuring a minimum standard of living for residents has been set up in cities, and the building of a social security system is being vigorously promoted in rural areas. After years of trial and effort, a labor and social security system corresponding to the socialist market economy system is now basically in place.
Based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, the Chinese government actively participates in international labor affairs. In the field of labor and social security, China has conducted fruitful exchanges and cooperation with many countries and international organizations, such as the International Labor Organization, United Nations Development Program, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. It has played a positive role in the international community in promoting employment, eliminating poverty and protecting the legal rights and interests of workers.
Entering the 21st century, China has embarked on a new development stage, the stage of starting the full-scale construction of a comparatively well-off society and accelerating modernization. The major goals of China's labor and social security efforts at the beginning of the new century are promoting employment, protecting employees' rights and interests, coordinating labor relations, raising people's incomes and improving social security.