Chinese political advisors are proposing the country complete its social security network and make it accessible to all elderly people, who are under the impulsion of the global financial turmoil.
The proposal, by the Central Committee of the China Democratic League, says that the country's economic development has been seriously affected by the financial crisis, which has in turn had a negative impact on the country's aging population.
The proposal will be submitted to the second session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which will convene on Tuesday.
China entered an aging society in 1999, about five years before its population hit 1.3 billion in early 2005. As of the end of 2008, the country has a 160 million population aged 60 years or above, accounting for 12 percent of the whole population.
The growing number of grey hairs has increased the social security burden in China, where pensions are still low and rest homes are under-funded.
The country should encourage more social communities to provide service for senior citizens and seek a new way to develop the service industry for the elderly, which means a major channel for increasing employment, the proposal says.
It also suggests a community-backed family aged-care network, with involvement of community volunteers.
Traditionally, old people are looked after at home by their children, but this is becoming less possible as economic development has increased mobility of people and the single-child generation are usually occupied with work.
(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2009)