5. Vigorously implementing the strategy of reinvigorating the country through science and education and the strategy of strengthening the country through human resource development
Science and technology, education and human resources are the foundation of national development, and they must therefore always be given an important strategic position.
We will continue to give high priority to education. We will promote the scientific development of education programs, and provide people with more diverse, more equitable and higher-quality education. In 2012, government spending on education will reach 4% of GDP. We will speed up the development of preschool education. We will encourage both governmental and nongovernmental bodies to provide preschool educational services in order to increase resources and promptly solve problems concerning access to preschool education.
We will promote the balanced development of compulsory education. We will strengthen standardization in compulsory education schools, and ensure that the allocation of public resources gives priority to rural schools and weak urban schools. Relying mainly on local governments and public schools, we will guarantee equal access to compulsory education for the children of rural migrant workers who live in cities. We will support the development of education and promote bilingual instruction in ethnic minority areas. We will comprehensively promote well-rounded education.
We will accelerate education reforms; genuinely lighten the school workload of primary and secondary school students; and give high priority to guiding students and fostering their ability to think independently, solve practical problems and be innovative. We will ensure that primary and middle school students do one hour of physical exercise in school every day.
We will vigorously develop vocational education. We will guide senior secondary schools and universities to emphasize their unique features, raise the quality of their teaching, and help their students to become better able to find employment or start their own businesses. We will strengthen the development of key disciplines and accelerate the development of a number of world-class universities. We will support the development of special education. We will implement and improve the government financial aid system for students and ensure no children are obliged to discontinue schooling at any stage of education due to their family's financial difficulties.
We will comprehensively strengthen human resource development. With the focus on high-level and highly skilled personnel, we will more quickly foster a large number of innovative scientists and engineers and skilled workers who are urgently needed and in short supply. We will invest more in human resource development and carry out major projects to foster talented personnel.
We will deepen the reform of the systems for selecting and employing personnel; strive to create an equitable, open and competitive system as well as social environment in which people are selected on their merits; encourage outstanding people to emerge; and create an environment that encourages talented people to tap their full potential.
We will vigorously promote scientific and technological innovation. We will speed up the implementation of major national science and technology projects, make breakthroughs in a number of core and key technologies, and enhance our capabilities to carry out major integrated innovation projects. We will strengthen basic research and research in cutting-edge technologies and increase our capacity for original innovation. We will give impetus to the establishment of systems and mechanisms for enterprises to take the lead in R&D and innovation.
We will encourage enterprises to undertake jointly funded R&D on key generic technologies and share both risks and rewards. The government needs to provide policy and financial support to projects in areas of national strategic interests.
We will deepen reform of the system for managing science and technology, and promote the optimal allocation, efficient use and public sharing of scientific and technological resources. We will provide incentives to research institutes, universities, scientists and engineers to encourage them to cooperate with enterprises in various ways. We will steadily increase government spending on science and technology, and improve the performance of research expenditures.
We will unswervingly implement the national strategy on intellectual property rights; improve our ability to create, apply, protect and manage them; and arouse an innovative spirit throughout society.
6. Strengthening social development and ensuring and improving the wellbeing of the people
The more the economy develops, the more attention we need to pay to strengthening social development and ensuring and improving people's wellbeing.
We will do everything in our power to expand employment. We will continue to implement a more proactive employment policy. This year the central government plans to invest 42.3 billion yuan to assist and promote employment. In light of the workforce structure in China, we will energetically develop labor-intensive industries, service industries, small and micro-businesses and innovative high-tech enterprises, and strive to satisfy the employment needs of different groups of people.
We will continue to give top priority to the employment of university graduates and key groups. We will strengthen vocational training and encourage people to start their own businesses. We will strengthen public services for employment, and improve the unified, standardized and flexible human resources market. We will more quickly develop job information networks and achieve nationwide connectivity. We will strengthen the supervision and enforcement of labor safeguards, improve mechanisms for resolving labor disputes, safeguard the rights and interests of workers in accordance with the law, and build harmonious labor relations.
We will adjust income distribution in a reasonable manner. This is both a long-term task, and an urgent issue we need to address now. This year we will concentrate on the following three measures.
First, we will focus on increasing the basic incomes of low-income people in both urban and rural areas. We will steadily increase the minimum wage of workers, basic pensions of enterprise retirees, and subsistence allowances for both urban and rural residents. We will establish a sound mechanism of regular pay raises for workers and strictly enforce the minimum wage system.
Second, we will put more effort into adjusting income distribution. We will raise the individual income tax threshold on salaries, reasonably adjust the tax rate structure, and genuinely reduce the tax burden on low- and middle-income people. We will effectively regulate excessively high incomes, strengthen the dual controls on total wages and wage scales in industries in which incomes are excessively high, and strictly standardize the management of executive pay and bonuses in SOEs and financial institutions.
Third, we will vigorously overhaul and standardize income distribution. We will resolutely prohibit illicit income. We will quickly establish a system for monitoring income distribution. Through unremitting efforts, we will reverse the trend of a widening income gap as soon as possible and ensure that the people share more in the fruits of reform and development.
We will accelerate the improvement of the social security system that covers both urban and rural residents. We will extend the pilot project for the new type of old-age insurance for rural residents to 40% of counties. We will move forward with the trials of old-age insurance for urban residents, solve longstanding problems concerning pensions for retirees of collectively owned enterprises, and put in place a mechanism to regularly adjust the basic pensions of enterprise retirees. We will actively press ahead with the reform of the old-age insurance system for government agencies and institutions. We will include employees of SOEs and collectively owned enterprises who suffer from old work-related injuries in the workers' compensation system.