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Top leaders urge improved policies for aging population

Updated: Feb 23,2016 8:31 PM     Xinhua

President Xi Jinping has called for improved birth, employment and elderly policies to cope with the country’s aging population in a “timely, scientific and comprehensive” manner.

President Xi made the remarks in a written instruction made public on Feb 23.

“Coping with our aging population is crucial for development and hundreds of millions of people’s well-being,” President Xi said, calling for better top-down design based on current situations and future expectations.

President Xi stressed this issue should be put on high agenda and relevant work should be carried out during the 2016-2020 period.

China has well over 200 million people aged 60 or above, more than 15 percent of the population, and the figure is expected to reach 243 million by 2020. Geriatric care lags far behind demand and varies greatly between regions.

In a separate written instruction, Premier Li Keqiang urged authorities to take a scientific approach to policies and suggestions on the aging issue.

On Feb 23, Wang Yong, head of the National Working Commission on Aging, presided over a meeting on the issue, urging related departments to get down to work.

“The focus should be on pressing issues for the elderly, so they feel the benefit,” Wang told the meeting.