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Politburo Vows to Improve Welfare of Disabled People

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held a meeting on Friday, to tackle welfare of the country's 83 million disabled people.

Chinese President and General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao presided over the meeting.

To take care of the disabled population is a major symbol of the progress of society and civilization, said a press release.

The meeting had a look back on the development of disabled people's welfare since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, and in particular the launching of reform and opening up drive 30 years ago. The situation of the disabled people has been remarkably improved and their living standards and quality have also kept on improving.

The meeting recognized there is a relatively large gap between the entire living conditions of the disabled and the average living standards in the country.

To promote the welfare of the disabled and improve their situation have been important tasks for building a moderately all-round prosperous and harmonious socialist society, said the meeting.

It called for improving relevant laws and regulations, social security system and service system for the disabled, creating asocial environment that allows the disabled to join in on an equal footing, closing the gap between the living standards of the disabled and the country's average, and helping the disabled to develop in line with the country's economic and social development.

It highlighted the importance of strengthening the medical service, the rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities, ensuring that all disabled people can enjoy a basic medical service, and better rehabilitation services.

It also pledged to guarantee the basic life of the disabled population and promote an overall development of the group, by developing education, promoting employment, and enriching their cultural and sports life. China will push forward international cooperation in this field, it said.

The politburo said the undertakings of the disabled population will be included in the general plan for the country's economic and social development. The government will set up a mechanism to fund the welfare of the disabled.

(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2008)

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