Secure the People's Basic Needs

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China II Updated: 2021-12-27

Secure the People's Basic Needs*


October 27, 2016


The ultimate purpose of economic development is to ensure and improve people's wellbeing.

Chairman Mao Zedong said in 1934, "… all the practical problems in the masses' everyday life should claim our attention. If we attend to these problems, solve them and satisfy the needs of the masses, we shall really become organizers of the wellbeing of the masses, and they will truly rally round us and give us their warm support."1 

Nowadays our work to improve the people's wellbeing is faced with substantial changes in the macro environment and the level of needs. In the past, all people wanted was to have enough food, schools to attend, and a place to live. Now the people have more diversified needs, aspiring to have a steadily increasing income, good medical services, equal educational opportunities, better housing, a beautiful environment, and clean air.

To adapt our work to these changes, we must meet the people's most basic needs and focus on their most pressing concerns, while improving related policies and guiding the public to have realistic and reasonable expectations for life. We should start with those concerns essential to people's immediate interests by taking direct, targeted measures that are effective and achieve wide coverage. We must focus on improving the people's basic wellbeing and coordinate our efforts to ensure better education, income distribution, employment, social security, medical service and healthcare, and housing.

We should pay particular attention to securing stable employment. To this end, we must make proper arrangements through multiple channels for workers who have been laid off or transferred due to actions to eliminate industrial overcapacity. We must help those with special difficulties to find new jobs, and ensure that in every family that currently has no one in employment, at least one member secures a stable job. We must see that the pension is paid on time and in full, leaving no one and no aspect overlooked. We must intensify our measures, and through a proper accountability system ensure solid progress in poverty elimination and provide for the basic needs of those living in poverty. We should also make proper arrangements for victims of natural disasters and expedite post-disaster reconstruction to enable them to return to a happy and stable life as soon as possible.

* Part of the speech at the second full assembly of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee.


1  Mao Zedong: "Be Concerned with the Well-being of the Masses, Pay Attention to Methods of Work", Selected Works of Mao Zedong, Vol. I, Eng. ed., Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1965, pp. 147-148.

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