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Government vows to provide better life for people with disabilities

BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) -- China has pledged to improve the lives of the country's 83 million people with physical disabilities in the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015).

The government will try to "realize the goal to raise the standard of living of the disabled population to the level of a prosperous society," Vice Premier Hui Liangyu said Thursday.

Hui made the remarks at the opening of the Fourth National Working Conference on the Undertakings of People with Disabilities in Beijing.

Present at the meeting was Deng Pufang, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and honorary chairman of the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

In his speech, the vice premier spoke highly of the country's achievements and progress concerning the disabled people during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), calling the past five years a golden period for people with disabilities. Income levels and living standards improved remarkably, while the opportunities for them to participate in society advanced significantly, Hui said.

"It is a matter of social fairness and justice," he said, referring to the development of undertakings for the disabled people, which has an impact on the general situation of developing China into a prosperous society.

Nevertheless, people with disabilities continue to have a lower quality of life compared with the rest of the population, and they still face numerous obstacles in terms of employment and various services, Hui said.

He called for the full implementation of the newly-published guidelines toward the development of the disabled population's undertakings in the 12th Five-Year Plan period, which pledges to try to satisfy their basic needs in both urban and rural areas by bringing them under the umbrella of the social insurance system and making greater efforts to help them in the fields of education, employment and cultural life.

The blueprint also vows to increase government investment in building facilities for the disabled while setting up a preventative public system to minimize the occurrences of physical disabilities among the population, according to Hui.

He concluded his speech by encouraging people with disabilities to be self-reliant and work hard so as to contribute to national prosperity and create and enjoy a beautiful life together with all of China.


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