Li Youmei: Continuously Improving people’s Life Quality and Standard
Created On : 2018-07-03    Views : 52

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People in the new era will enjoy a happier life

The Two Centennial Goals are staged goals set out by our Party in leading the whole nation to realize the great national rejuvenation. Realistic appeal of the people is the fundamental driving force behind the effort to achieve the Two Centennial Goals. Meeting people's needs for a better life is an inherent part of achieving the Two Centennial Goals.

Chinese people of the new era pay more attention to the quality of life. Strong demand released in the process of improving life quality is one of the driving forces behind China’s economic and social development. American economist John Kenneth Galbraith was the first to put forward the concept of “life quality” in his book The Affluent Society, mainly to amend GDP as a national economic welfare indicator. The United Nations Human Development Index uses life expectancy per capita, the adult illiteracy rate, the average number of years of education per capita, and the standard of living (per capita GDP) as an indicator system to measure the quality of life in each country. Some researchers in China have expanded the indicator system to purchasing power, major expenditures of families, housing and living conditions, health condition, social security, and welfare levels.

Since its founding, China has experienced a period when too much emphasis was put on production while life quality and material life were ignored. Now it is ushering in a new phase that stresses the importance of life quality. People who lay more emphasis on life quality will live a rich material life while expecting to enjoy blue sky, white clouds and fresh air, social harmony and peaceful mind. They also need good social security, solidarity, stability and a positive spiritual and cultural environment as expected. Improvement in life quality not only originates from high-quality and efficient economic and social development, but also depends on a series of changes in the concept, institutional framework, and policy design for social life. For example, the connotation of “a moderately prosperous society” put forward by our Party has seen continuous improvement in the course of development, which marks that the desire of the masses for a quality life has become more and more realistic. In the early years of reform and opening up, the goal was "although not rich, people enjoy a happy life." The 13th CPC National Congress put forward a three-step strategy, which was “address the issue of food and clothing for the people”, “people live a fairly comfortable life” and “per capita GNP reaches the level of moderately developed countries; people enjoy a better-off life; achieve modernization basically”. In addition, more attention was paid to the level of income distribution. The 15th CPC National Congress put forward a new “three-step” strategy by which the connotation of a well-off society evolved from "making people's quality of life more affluent" to "making the national economy more developed and various systems more perfect" and then "realize basic modernization and build a strong, prosperous, democratic and civilized socialist country”. The 19th CPC National Congress proposed implementing a two-step strategy, comprised of achieving basic socialist modernization by 2035 and building a strong, prosperous, democratic, civilized, harmonious, beautiful and modern socialist China by the middle of the 21st century. By then, we will basically achieve the goal of common prosperity and people enjoy a more happy and healthy life. “A moderately prosperous society in all aspects” is a comprehensive concept, evolving from emphasizing economic development to covering social development, democratic progress, fairness and justice and the rule of law.

A people-centered system design ensures that expectation for a better life is well grounded

The Chinese Communist Party is committed to governing for the people. It regards people's aspiration for a better life as its own goal and the fundamental interests of the vast majority of people as its highest standard. It has been striving hard to ensure people can live a better life. Faced with the daunting challenge of providing a better quality of life in the future, our Party has been making continuous efforts to innovate its development strategy, to see that the entire Chinese people have a clear and stable expectation for the future. Adhering to the people-centered concept in system building will not only help the broad masses form a clear and deep integral awareness and a conscientious attitude towards the development goals of the party and the country, but also be able to unite the whole society in upholding the firm belief in socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Focusing on the new needs and changes in people's basic lifestyle and quality of life, since the 18th National Congress, our Party has attached great importance to social construction and clearly proposed that to strengthen and innovate social governance. The key is institutional innovation and the core is people. Only when people live in harmony will the society be stable and orderly. Social construction should be based on the principle of collaboration, participation and common interests. Systematic planning must be in place for institutional mechanisms and institutional policies. We must start from safeguarding and improving people's livelihood and do whatever the masses aspire after. In this regard, we must do our best and at the same time, do it within our capabilities. Provide as much timely help to the masses as possible so that the wish and effect can be consistent with each other in every dimension of our work. The 19th National Congress regards "adhering to the people-centered principle" as one of the basic strategies for adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and includes "stick to the people-centered development thinking" in the party constitution. In the report of this National Congress, much emphasis is put on the importance of social construction and social governance system construction. It is stressed that we will step up institution building in social governance and improve the law-based social governance model under which Party committees exercise leadership, government assumes responsibility, non-governmental actors provide assistance, and the public get involved. We will strengthen public participation and rule of law in social governance, and make such governance smarter and more specialized and establish a social governance model based on collaboration, participation and common interests. All kinds of system designs must be based on the people-centered concept. In this way, we can ensure that people have better expectations for basic social problem solution, social relation adjustment and a better life in the future.

Improving the quality of life requires responsibility sharing

To improve people’s quality of life requires joint efforts and shared responsibilities of related parties. Nowadays, with more emphasis on the quality of life, people’s demand for public goods will inevitably put higher requirements on the public service supply system. Lack of public services is the biggest challenge for a better life in the future. At present, there are still problems with China's public service system. For instance, supply cannot effectively match demand; regional and urban-rural development is unbalanced and inadequate. At the same time, relevant departments still fail to pay sufficient attention to the adaptive transformation and structural adjustment required for product quality and service composition. Public service is the core function of modern governments. Changes of government functions serve as the institutional basis for the change in public service models. Although effective provision of government public services can play a role in improving the quality of life, it does not mean that the government should monopolize everything relevant with public services. Therefore, governments are required to think seriously how to innovate the systems and mechanisms of public service supply while transforming their functions.

It is made clear in the 19th CPC National Congress that we should establish a social governance model based on collaboration, participation and common interests and we will strengthen public participation and rule of law in social governance, and make such governance smarter and more specialized. To create an environment that allows the broad masses to pay more attention to the quality of life will be a process that takes joint efforts from the government, enterprises, and society. Building a better life requires corresponding public support. This not only depends on a high level of consciousness of “full participation and a strong sense of responsibility”, but also requires people to constantly remind themselves to have a reasonable and appropriate expectation for life in the face of new major social conflicts. We should have a rational and peaceful social mentality to understand, tolerate, and respect each other. Facing the future, we still need to see that it is arduous to realize common prosperity of all the people. It is a long-term process to satisfy people’s ever-growing need for a happy life. We must make it a shared responsibility and strive hard for a better life.