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Gov't Pledges to Provide Policy Umbrella for Disabled

The Chinese government will work on stable systematic policies on living support, education, healthcare and employment service to disabled people, said a senior official in Bejing on Thursday.

"The government will fully implement the policies to promote the welfare of disabled people (issued in March) and work harder to solve problems that mattered to their basic interests," said Vice Premier Hui Liangyu at the China Disabled Persons Federation (CDPF) fifth national congress, which closed on Thursday.

In the March document jointly issued by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, disabled people would be included in the insurance network of basic medical care, unemployment and pension while recovery care service would be added into the country's basic health care service for citizens.

The government also listed measures to promote community living support, expand special education and encourage disabled people to start their own businesses.

"We will mobilize all forces in society to support and participate in promoting the welfare of disabled people," Hui said.

He expected CDPF and its local branches to serve the disabled heart and soul and pay the most attention to help them through difficulties.

He asked governments of all levels to support the CDPF and include the welfare of disabled people into their working agenda.

"I also hope disabled people will actively contribute to the country's development through their own efforts, with dignity and confidence."

At the congress, 630 delegates representing China's 83 million disabled people reviewed and approved the work report of the fourth CDPF presidium, adopted amendments to the federation's constitution and elected a new chairman.

The new chairman, wheelchair-bound woman writer Zhang Haidi, pledged in her speech that the new CDPF leadership will try its best to serve the disabled people and fight for their interests.

The disabled accounted for 6.34 percent of the country's population. More than 75 percent of the disabled live in rural areas.

(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2008)

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