Premier Li Keqiang said improving the lives of disabled people is a sign of a civilized society, and the government should thus do its utmost to promote their rights.
The Premier made the comments at an executive meeting of the State Council on Dec 24.
He said that the development of the economy has led to great progress concerning the rights of China’s disabled population over the past 30 years - but there is still room for improvement, due to the large number of disabled people around the country.
He added that China’s efforts in the development of social programs are insufficient - and the disabled are its most underprivileged and disadvantaged citizens.
The Premier said this issue should be a priority for the government.
Li also said that severely disabled people should receive a special benefit status that entitles them to receive medical reimbursement.
He added that the severely disabled who cannot live independently are the most vulnerable and may lose hope more easily when they get sick, which could lead them to an extreme act of despair.
He specifically asked relevant department officials to visit disabled people, learn more about the reality of their situation - and their requirements.
Li said that efforts concerning China’s disabled population reflect the country’s social fairness and justice, and are also related to socialism.
He also said that the government aims “to build an all-round well-off society by 2020, and the disabled should not be left behind.”