Chinese social policy in the new era: characteristics and future trends

GONG Sen1 LI Bingqin2

(1.China Center for International Knowledge on Development)
(2.University of New South Wales Social Policy Research Centre)

【Abstract】In 2012, the Central Economic Work Conference of China put forward a set of new principles for improving people’s livelihoods, which includes “ensuring the bottom line, focusing on the key issues, refining the systems, and influencing public opinions.” A new era begins in which the social policy in China shifted from a highly fragmented system which pursued equality in all different directions to a system that stresses holistic, systematic and coordinated policy design and implementation and encourages co-production. This article first outlined the timelines for shaping the principles and the key characteristics, and then discusses the underlying international and domestic circumstances from which the principles emerged and evolved. After a summary of the outcomes since 2012, this paper moves on to discuss the structural issues that China must face and the demand of the on-going industrial revolution. The authors propose that social policies should stick to issue-based and co-productive approaches in the future. The society, employers, families and individuals should all be encouraged to play their roles and combined effectively with the role of the state. It is essential to further social investment policies such as job creation, education, healthcare and so forth, and at the same time modify social consumptions, such as minimum income guarantee and social pensions to make them fairer. While improving policies in individual sectors, it is also vital to improve the adaptability of policies and coordinate different policies.

【Keywords】 social policy; new era; new industrial revolution; structural challenge;


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This Article


CN: 11-1100/C

Vol 34, No. 04, Pages 39-49+242-243

July 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 China’s social policies in the new era: formation and features
  • 2 The development idea underlying the social policies in the new era
  • 3 New ideas on development make new requests to social policies
  • 4 The prospect of new-era social policies and suggestions
  • References