At the end of the 20th century, the proportion of people aged 60 and above in China accounted for over ten percent of the entire population, and thus, according to the generally acknowledged international standard, the age structure of Chinese population has entered the ageing stage. The ageing of China's population accelerated in the first years of the new century. By the end of 2005, there were close to 144 million people over the age of 60 in China, accounting for 11 percent of its entire population.

China is the biggest developing country in the world. As the number of elderly people keeps increasing and ageing of population accelerates, and due to the country's uneven development, one big challenge facing China in its social development is how to guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of the elderly people and promote the development of undertakings for the aged.

The Chinese government has always cared for and paid attention to undertakings for the aged. For years, the state has made great efforts to promote the cultural tradition of the Chinese nation that elderly people are respected and provided for; and taken effective measures to explore a development mode of undertakings for the aged that suits China's conditions. Especially in recent years, the Chinese government has implemented the outlook of scientific development in an all-round way and positively meet the challenge posed by the ageing of the population. It has considered undertakings for the aged an important part of balanced social and economic development as well as of the building of a harmonious society, and has adopted economic, legal and administrative measures to constantly promote the development of undertakings for the aged.