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How successful have Chinese social policy reforms been since 1978 - Essay Example

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Introduction The economy of China has grown tremendously over the last three and a half decade; this rapid growth of the economy has catapulted china’s society, to change as rapid as the change in the magnitude of the economy, although the change in china’s society has not captured the imagination of many in the world as the change in the economy…
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How successful have Chinese social policy reforms been since 1978
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"How successful have Chinese social policy reforms been since 1978"

Download file to see previous pages There are two groups of scholars who hold conflicting opinions on the success or failure of China’s social policy reform since 1978; the first is the group of western scholars who are familiar with their own countries social welfare policy and therefore dissatisfied with China’s contribution to the welfare policy. Then there are scholars mainly from mainland china who are of the opinion that the country has contributed significantly in improving the social welfare progress, they consider that the administrations have succeeded in the social policy reforms (Jones 2003, p.41). This paper explores the china’s social policy reforms, the paper further analyses the success if any of the social reforms with respect to prevailing circumstances. Economic reform and social policies In the later years, most mainland Chinese scholars have concluded that china’s welfare provision increased considerably, they cite several examples that show this point of view. First, the per capita area of housing in urban areas, the floor area per capita in urbanized areas stood at 28.3 square meters in the year 2011 rising from 6.7 square meters in 1978 (Man, 2011). In the same breadth, the average housing per head in the same period rose from 6.7square meters to a high of 29.7 square meters. Home and car ownership have increased over the years, a 2011 survey on homeownership revealed that up to 93 percents of the respondents were homeowners and 97 per cent home ownership in the rural areas( Zhao and Guoli 2009, p.192). Secondly, the human development issues have vastly improved over the years, such reducing illiteracy levels, rise in life expectancy, drop in infant mortality rates, and soaring Human Development Index. The average number of years that youths attend school between the ages of 15 to 24 has increased, rising from a low of 5.8 in the year 1985 and a high of 7.57 in the year 2000. The rate of life expectancy has interestingly improved in the last twenty eight years, reaching 73.27 in the year 2010 from 66.50 in 1978, consequently, infant mortality rates have steeply declined over the same period of time, and in 1978 the number of deaths was 48 falling to a low of 13 in 2010 ( Jeffries 2011, p.30). Finally, China’s Human Development Index Ranking was 0.699 in the year 2012 having leaped by a whole 0.010 from the previous year and showing a trend of always rising over the years, in the year 2012 main land China was ranked at number 101(National Bureau of Statistics, 2012). The most important factor that fuelled and propelled Chin’s economy into such greater heights is urbanization and rapid industrialization. Over the last two and a half decade, china has shifted from a rural agrarian economy to an industrializing urban economy. The move also implied a move from the state control and command economy to an open market based economy, this movement led to high number of farmers abandoning their farms and heading to urban areas to perform odd labour jobs. Just before the reform process began in 1978, about 80.9 percent of China’s population lived in the rural areas, and by 2010 only about 50.5 per cent of the population lived in the rural area (OECD 2012, p.150). The number of people who lived in the urban areas by 2010 had surpassed those living in the rural areas, of the 1.333 billion people in China; those who were living in the urban ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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