China prepares for an aging society

The Chinese government seems all set to build an elder-friendly society given the rising number of senior citizens in the country. Ten ministerial-level departments, including the ministries of civil affairs and education, Monday jointly released a circular calling for the country to prepare for an aging society, Xinhua reported.

IANS| Last Updated: Jul 08, 2014, 10:48 AM IST

Beijing: The Chinese government seems all set to build an elder-friendly society given the rising number of senior citizens in the country.

Ten ministerial-level departments, including the ministries of civil affairs and education, Monday jointly released a circular calling for the country to prepare for an aging society, Xinhua reported.

The circular stressed on the importance of building an elder-friendly society as the percentage of the senior population is rising quickly.

The number of aging citizens in China reached 200 million at the end of 2013 and will account for more than 30 percent of the country`s total population by 2042.

Government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should carry out more voluntary services for the elderly and encourage the young generation to be more aware of seniors` needs and concerns, it said.

The circular also called for accelerating development of industries serving the demands and convenience of the elderly, such as nursing homes and adult education classes, it said.

The public sector will encourage the elderly to participate in various social activities, such as teaching in schools or helping with scientific research, to give them a sense of satisfaction while also promoting social harmony and the economy.

The circular also emphasised establishment of a national elderly care system, strengthening social security for the elderly and improving laws that protect the rights and interests of senior citizens.