The coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong province [Photo/VCG]
Improving people's livelihoods has been a major focus for the Qingdao government throughout the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20).
The city remains committed to a people-centered philosophy toward development and is striving to improve living standards and make steady progress towards enhancing people's happiness and security.
In 2016, the city's expenditures on people's livelihoods reached 102.05 billion yuan ($15.76 billion), exceeding 100 billion yuan for the first time. From 2016 to 2020, the city's total expenditures on people's livelihoods reached 546.35 billion yuan, accounting for more than 70 percent of total fiscal expenditures.
Spending on urban and rural community construction reached 146.7 billion yuan, spending on education reached 133.3 billion yuan, spending on employment and social security reached 86.1 billion yuan, and health expenditures reached 47.3 billion yuan.
Over the past five years, financial departments in the city continued to expand coverage of old-age and medical insurance and continued to raise basic pensions for retirees, medical insurance subsidies for urban and rural residents, and other security standards.
The city built, renovated, or expanded 338 kindergartens and 210 primary and secondary schools over this period. It also renovated 206,000 households in rundown urban areas and 704 old residential areas. Six rail transit lines with a total length of 246 kilometers have begun operating as well.
Qingdao has made strong efforts to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and win the battle against poverty during this period. From 2016 to 2020, a total of 1.7 billion yuan in special fiscal funds for poverty alleviation were allocated, with an average annual increase of 10.3 percent.
In addition, it has carried out 849 industrial projects to facilitate poverty alleviation, lifting 28,535 households, 510 villages, and 10 towns out of poverty.