Social Security

Life insurance

In recent years, more and more of China's population has been covered by basic life insurance. Non state-owned enterprise employees, as well as those in state-owned and collective enterprises, have a legal right to life insurance. By the end of 2002, 111 million employees and 36 million retired people around the country had joined the basic life insurance. By the end of 2003, the number covered by life insurance rose to 155 million, an increase of more than 7.5 million in the last year. The figure includes 116 million employees and 38.5 million retired people.

Medical insurance

Basic medical insurance covers the most number of people in China. In 2002, there are 290 thousand medical, health care, epidemic prevention institutes in China, with 3.2 million hospital beds and nearly 4.5 million health staff. In Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing, high quality general practice hospitals have been set up, as well as hospitals specializing in oncology, cardiovasology and cerebrovasology, ophthalmology, dentistry, and traditional Chinese medicine and epidemics. In medium-sized cities of all provinces and autonomous regions, modern general practice hospital and specialized hospital have also been established. Now, three levels of medical health care, in county, town, and village, provide major medical health care for the rural population. There are over 2000 county hospitals and 48,000 town ones.

By the end of 2003, China had nearly 110 million medical insurance takers, an increase of nearly 15 million. Among them, nearly 80 million are employees and nearly 30 million retired people.

Unemployment insurance

With a huge population, there is great pressure on employment in China. In order to alleviate the employment situation, in 1993 the Chinese government launched a job market policy to increase employment opportunities. In particular, the Chinese government implemented a re-employment policy to help workers from state-owned enterprises, who were laid off after industrial structural adjustment. By the end of 2002, China had nearly 248 million employees in cities and towns. Since 1998, over 18 million laid-off workers from the state-owned enterprises found jobs. The registered urban unemployment rate is 4%. By the end of 2003, nearly 104 million people had unemployment insurance around the country.

Minimum living relief allowances

China set up the minimum living relief allowances system in urban and rural areas. The system provides the basic life protection for urban residents whose household income is below the local lowest standard. In 2003, 22.35 million urban residents have got the minimum living relief allowances, covering all the poor population in the city.