China to provide universal healthcare and pensions by 2020 China to provide universal healthcare and pensions by 2020

China to provide universal healthcare and pensions by 2020
27 Feb 2018

China’s is currently creating a new social security system and aims to provide its citizens with universal healthcare and pensions by 2020.

Yuki Katayama, a researcher at the Insurance Research Department of the NLI Research Institute, indicated that social security-related expenditure currently makes up about 20% of government spending.

"They could probably tolerate an increase to 30% in the future. But they would move toward keeping spending as low as possible," she said.

Katayama believes China will probably adopt a combined public-private system, which incorporates private health insurance – a model that is somewhere between the government-run Japanese system and the privately-run American system, according to The Japan News.

Meanwhile, the prosperity gap between urban and rural areas, which has long been a challenge, is said to be shrinking. But the fact that the richest 10% of people hold about 70% of the wealth is still a concern.

However, President Xi Jinping said he expected the country's middle-income group to grow considerably, resulting in a significant reduction in the development gap between urban and rural areas as well as disparities in living standards.

Meanwhile, Zhu Baoliang, chief economist at the State Information Center, said he expects per capita GDP to rise from US$8,113 in 2016 to more than US$10,000 in 2020. By 2023, the figure will hit $12,000, making China a high-income nation, before reaching over US$20,000 in 2035, he added.

But by around 2034, the working-age population will no longer be more than twice that of elderly people and children. As a result, the impact of a 'demographic onus', which suppresses growth, will increase. Indeed, the fear is that China will age before it gets rich. The elderly are predicted to make up 14.2% of the population in 2025, and 21% in 2036.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

China’s is currently creating a new social security system and aims to provide its citizens with universal healthcare and pensions by 2020.

Yuki Katayama, a researcher at the Insurance Research Department of the NLI Research Institute, indicated that social security-related expenditure currently makes up about 20% of government spending.

"They could probably tolerate an increase to 30% in the future. But they would move toward keeping spending as low as possible," she said.

Katayama believes China will probably adopt a combined public-private system, which incorporates private health insurance – a model that is somewhere between the government-run Japanese system and the privately-run American system, according to The Japan News.

Meanwhile, the prosperity gap between urban and rural areas, which has long been a challenge, is said to be shrinking. But the fact that the richest 10% of people hold about 70% of the wealth is still a concern.

However, President Xi Jinping said he expected the country's middle-income group to grow considerably, resulting in a significant reduction in the development gap between urban and rural areas as well as disparities in living standards.

Meanwhile, Zhu Baoliang, chief economist at the State Information Center, said he expects per capita GDP to rise from US$8,113 in 2016 to more than US$10,000 in 2020. By 2023, the figure will hit $12,000, making China a high-income nation, before reaching over US$20,000 in 2035, he added.

But by around 2034, the working-age population will no longer be more than twice that of elderly people and children. As a result, the impact of a 'demographic onus', which suppresses growth, will increase. Indeed, the fear is that China will age before it gets rich. The elderly are predicted to make up 14.2% of the population in 2025, and 21% in 2036.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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