Improving lives of disabled people will be priority
The central leadership has stressed that poor people with disabilities should not be left behind while the nation works toward the goal of zero poverty. [Photo/VCG]
Vice-Premier Han Zheng urged relevant authorities across the country on Friday to prioritize the welfare of disabled people and make sure they achieve all-around development and lead well-off lives.
He made the remarks while speaking at the opening ceremony of the seventh national congress of the China Disabled Persons' Federation on behalf of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, as well as other leaders Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning and Zhao Leji, joined more than 600 delegates across the country at the opening ceremony.
Han said China has made prominent achievements in promoting the welfare of people with disabilities since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, and President Xi has made specific requirements regarding the sector, which has pointed the direction for its development in the new era.
Han urged authorities to stick to the principle that assistance should be accessible for the disadvantaged, and to make sure that those with disabilities enter a prosperous society by 2020 together with their nondisabled counterparts.
He also encouraged the country's 85 million disabled people to connect their own dreams with the dream of the country and work together to create a new situation for the disabled.
Zhang Haidi, president of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, made a work report to the congress. She said the past five years have seen great success in helping those with disabilities to eliminate poverty.
"More than 5 million disabled people were lifted out of extreme poverty, and 1.7 million households with disabled members have had their unsafe houses renovated," she said.
In the past five years, about 20 million disabled people received physical rehabilitation services, and 4 million benefited from care services. Around 44,300 disabled candidates were admitted to mainstream universities via gaokao, China's university entrance exam, and 2.11 million have benefited from improved accessibility at home, according to the work report.
Zhang pledged to come up with solutions for families with special difficulties in a more timely manner and lift all disabled people out of poverty by the end of 2020.
"The task remains arduous, with more than 2.8 million disabled people nationwide still living below the poverty line," she said.
China has pledged to eradicate extreme poverty in the country by the end of 2020. The country's poor population, which numbered more than 98 million at the end of 2012, was cut by two-thirds in the most recent five-year period, according to the central government.
The central leadership has stressed that poor people with disabilities should not be left behind while the nation works toward the goal of zero poverty.