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The state of social welfare in China

Article written by Urban Marie « L’état de la protection sociale en Chine » Revue française d’administration publique, 2014/2 N° 150, p. 467-479. DOI : 10.3917/rfap.150.0467.

The Chinese welfare system has been gradually expanded since the early 2000s to cover the entire Chinese population. Despite extensive coverage, it is still a geographically fragmented and disparate system, which provides unequal protection depending on whether people live in urban or rural areas. People living in rural areas receive very few benefits and still depend upon family solidarity to cope with illness or old age, while migrant workers, because of their precarious status, remain largely excluded from the social welfare system. The Chinese system needs to be further reformed to guarantee greater equality in the payment of pensions and access to care, thus ensuring it is sustainable in the medium term, just as the ageing of the population is raising issues regarding its funding.

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Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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