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White Paper on Peaceful Development
Special> White Paper on Peaceful Development
UPDATED: October 13, 2010 NO.39 SEPTEMBER 30, 2010
China's Human Resources
Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. September 2010, Beijing

A personnel employment system has been introduced in public institutions. By means of employment contracts, the relationship between employing units and employees is clearly defined. By institutionalizing post setting, open recruitment, competition for positions, performance assessment and subsequent rewards and punishment, as well as resignation and dismissal, it has gradually brought into being a personnel management system for public institutions that has clearly defined rights and responsibilities, scientific classifications, flexible mechanisms and effective supervision. By the end of 2009, some 80 percent of the total staff in public institutions around China had signed employment contracts. In 2009, over 80 percent of all the new employees in public institutions in 22 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government were recruited through open recruitment. Public institutions have put in place a wage system based on post and performance, as well as a payment and incentive mechanism that closely links payment and bonus to responsibilities, performance and contribution, and encourages innovation and creation. These efforts have brought into full play the enthusiasm and creativity of human resources in these institutions.

Personnel system of state-owned enterprises has been improved. In line with the requirements of the modern corporate system, state-owned enterprises have started to form standard boards of directors, providing an institutional guarantee for the sustained, rapid and healthy development of these enterprises. They have established and improved systems concerning the selection and appointment, performance assessment, and incentives and supervision of managerial and administrative personnel. They have put in place a wage system with regulation by the market, distribution independently by enterprises, democratic participation of employees, and supervision and guidance by the government, thus promoting the development of enterprises and enhancing employees' wages. As a result, the basic role of the market in allocating human resources has been brought into full play, and a mechanism of personnel selection and appointment by the market has been established. From 2003 to 2009 the number of managerial and administrative personnel employed by way of open recruitment and competition for positions increased from 334,000 to 521,000.

Establishing a national system of honors and rewards

The Chinese Government adheres to the principle of combining morale boosting with material reward, with the focus on the former, and has therefore set up a national system of honors and rewards that is being constantly improved.

The state awards workers who have made major contributions to national development with the honorary titles of "National Model Worker" and "National Outstanding Worker"—the former for workers, farmers and managerial personnel of enterprises, and the latter for personnel of government departments and public institutions. Since 1989 the Chinese Government has held a national conference once every five years to award such titles to model and outstanding workers from all walks of life. So far 14,578 people have received one of the titles.

The state honors citizens and organizations making brilliant contributions to scientific and technological development with the Science and Technology Award. Since 2000, a total of 27,772 people have won this award, and among them 16 prominent scientists won the State Preeminent Science and Technology Award of China. China has two titles for academicians: One is Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the highest title in the field of science and technology, and the other is Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the highest title in the field of engineering and technology. By the end of 2009 there were 1,143 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and 861 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, all of whom won the title by way of assessment and selection. Since 1990, China also practices a system of special government allowances. The Chinese Government has issued certificates of honor to experts, scholars, technicians and highly-skilled personnel who have made brilliant contributions to their fields. In addition, it gives special government allowances to these people. By 2009, 158,000 people had received such allowances. In addition, the state has put in place a national system for rewarding outstanding professionals. Since 1999 a total of 200 people have won the title of "National Outstanding Professional." Since 1995 a total of 120 people have won the state's "Grand Skill Award of China" and 2,976 have won "National Technical Expert" award. They are role models of high-skilled workers in China. The government has also established a national system to reward prominent personnel from rural areas, and 160 people have been commended under this system since 2000.

IV. Bringing into Play the Fundamental Role of Market Allocation

As a socialist market economy is gradually taking root in China, the Chinese Government—by way of following the objective laws of human resources development—has set out to reform the current human resources system to enable the market to play its due role in the allocation of human resources and respect workers' freedom to choose jobs. The government has been making efforts to foster and develop the human resources market, gradually achieving the transition from a planned to a market allocation of human resources.

A market allocation mechanism for human resources has basically taken shape

Since the 1980s a multi-dimensional human resources market has gradually been formed in China as its economy, dominated by the public ownership, is growing along with diverse forms of ownership. From 1998 to 2009, the number of those working in state-owned entities dropped from 90.58 million to 64.20 million, a decrease from 41.9 percent of all urban employees to 20.6percent; the number of those working in limited liability companies and companies limited by shares rose from 8.94 million to 33.89 million, an increase from 4.1percent of all urban employees to 10.9 percent; and those working in private entities or self-employed grew from 32.32 million to 97.89 million, a rise from 15 percent to 31.5 percent.

Since the mid-1980s China has gradually been reforming its permanent worker system established under the planned economy, known as the "unified distribution of the work force." It gives employers the right to freely choose their workers while at the same time gives workers the right to freely choose their jobs, thus establishing a new mode of labor relations, formed basically through mutual choices, free consultation and the signing of employment contracts between employers and employees. All these factors have improved the vibrancy and efficiency of the human resources market. To adapt to the needs of a socialist market economy, the Chinese Government has removed one obstacle after another in mechanisms that restrain the free flow of the work force, by reforming social security, household registration and university graduate distribution systems. These measures have contributed to the vibrant flow of labor force across the country's regions, industries and trades. In 2009 workers registered for employment at various human resources service agencies was 97 million, and 36 million people succeeded in landing jobs or changing their jobs, an increase of 77 million and 26 million respectively, as compared with the year 2000. In 2009 farmers who went to cities to seek employment or worked in non-agricultural sectors in local areas for at least six months totaled 229.78 million, of which migrant workers working outside their localities accounted for 145.33 million and those employed in secondary or tertiary industry not far from their villages reached 84.45 million.

Human resources service industry has grown rapidly

Since the 1980s China has constantly expanded the scale and elevated the level of the human resources service industry. The service has become diversified in terms of scope and content, moving from recruitment and personnel agencies in the early period to training, labor dispatch, employment guidance, professional assessment, management consultation and human resources service outsourcing. As a result, a relatively complete service chain in this respect has been formed. In 2008 China had more than 49,000 agencies providing human resources services, basically forming a multi-level, multi-dimensional human resources service system, which consists of government-sponsored employment and personnel service agencies, private human resources service agencies and Chinese-foreign joint ventures specializing in human resources service.

Since its entry into the WTO in 2001 China has actively fulfilled its commitments, leading to a steady rise in the number of foreign-invested human resources service agencies. In 2009 there were 160 Sino-foreign human resources service agencies in Chinese territory, compared to 30 in 2003.

V. Strengthening the Protection of the Legitimate Rights and Interests of Workers

It has been the Chinese Government's consistent development concept to respect people's right to work, stress the protection of workers' rights and interests, realize the dignity of labor and promote people's all-round development. The Chinese Government has adopted a series of policies and measures to strengthen the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of workers, and is effectively promoting the sound development of human resources.

Guaranteeing equal employment

In recent years, the Chinese Government has endeavored to strengthen the building and management of a unified and standard market of human resources, overcome the divide between urban and rural areas, between people of different identities and between different regions—which is caused by historical factors, eliminate institutional obstacles to the development of the human resources market, and establish an equal employment system for urban and rural workers. By improving market supervision, carrying out examination of law enforcement in the human resources market, and cleaning up and rectifying illegal acts in the market, the relevant departments of the Chinese Government has effectively protected the lawful rights and interests of all market elements, including job seekers.

The state makes every effort to ensure that women have equal rights to employment with men, and endeavors to remove barriers to women's equal employment. The country mobilizes various non-governmental sectors to expand the employment channels for women, and formulates and implements policies supporting women's self-employment. The positive role of women's federations at all levels is brought into full play in making known to authorities women's demands, in promoting equal employment and equal pay for equal work, and in providing rights protection services. By 2008 women workers accounted for more than 45.4 percent of the working population nationwide.

The Chinese Government is formulating an overall plan for the employment of the disabled and has adopted the principle of combining centralized and decentralized employment, so as to guarantee the right to employment for the disabled. It formulates and implements policies favorable for the disabled people's employment, stipulating that every employer must hire at least one and a half persons with disabilities out of every 100 employees working in the company. Any employer with one quarter of its employees being persons of disabilities will enjoy tax preference. The government also gives advice to and helps the disabled to establish welfare enterprises of persons of disabilities, and encourages and supports them to explore flexible ways of employment. The China Disabled Persons' Federation at all levels protects the legitimate rights and interests of disabled persons and promotes their equal participation in social life. A total of 3,043 employment service agencies have been set up at the provincial, municipal and county levels to provide special employment services for the disabled. By the end of 2009 the number of disabled employees in urban areas nationwide had reached 4.434 million, and 17.57 million disabled persons in the rural areas had found stable jobs.

The state pays great attention to the protection of rural migrant workers' rights and interests. Rural migrant workers are a special group of workers that has emerged in the process of China's reform and opening-up, industrialization and urbanization. They have made great contributions to the economic and social development of the country. In 2006 the State Council established the Joint Conference System to coordinate and guide the work on rural migrant workers across the country. China has eliminated many unreasonable restrictions on rural migrant workers' seeking jobs in cities, strengthened work safety and public health training, expanded social insurance to cover more migrant workers, established a retirement pension scheme, which ensures continuity of one's retirement insurance wherever he or she lives, and carried out such supporting programs as "Spring Warmth Action" and "Spring Breeze Action." By the end of 2009 a total of 80.1482 million rural migrant workers had become members of trade unions, almost 80 percent of the migrant workers' children were receiving free compulsory education at public schools in urban areas, and the number of migrant workers covered by insurance for work-related injuries, medical insurance, basic retirement insurance for employees of enterprises in urban areas and unemployment insurance had reached 55.87 million, 43.35 million, 26.47 million and 16.43 million, respectively.

Establishing a coordination mechanism for labor relations

China promotes the all-round implementation of the labor contract system. By the end of 2009, some 96.5 percent of China's state-owned enterprises and enterprises of other ownership with annual sales revenue over five million yuan had signed labor contracts with their employees. The contents of labor contracts had become more standardized, and most of the labor contracts were being properly observed. China actively promotes group consultations and the group contract system, so as to enhance mutual understanding and trust between employers and employees, and seek mutual benefits for both parties to the labor contracts. By the end of 2009, the number of effective group contracts had reached 703,000, covering more than 94 million employees.

China brings into full play the function of the tripartite labor relations coordination mechanism. In 2009 a total of 14,000 tripartite labor relations coordination organizations had been established in cities above the prefecture level and counties (including county-level cities and districts) of 26 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government), which comprised government, trade union and enterprise representatives. Centering on major issues of labor relations, the tripartite mechanism plays an important role in promoting harmonious and stable labor relations through active communication, enhanced cooperation and elimination of differences.

China is vigorously promoting the building of harmonious labor relations. In 2006 the government began the campaign to establish harmonious labor relations in enterprises and industrial parks. By formulating and implementing standards of harmonious labor relations, promoting the establishment of a coordination mechanism for labor relations and commending successful examples, China promoted harmonious and stable labor relations in enterprises and industrial parks. By the end of 2009, a total of 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government had engaged in building harmonious labor relations.

China gives full play to the important role of trade unions. China's trade unions, which represent and safeguard workers' interests, play an important and irreplaceable role in promoting harmonious labor relations. In 2009 there were 1.845 million trade unions at the grassroots level, covering 3.959 million enterprises and public institutions, and the number of trade union members nationwide had reached 226.3 million. Trade unions at various levels work actively to safeguard the rights of the workers, provide guidance and help for workers in signing labor contracts with employers according to law, represent workers in group consultations and signing group contracts with employers, organize workers' participation in democratic decision making, management and supervision, take part in labor dispute mediation and arbitration, provide legal services to workers and urge employers to abide by state laws and regulations.

China is showing more care for enterprise employees. In recent years, the Chinese Government has adopted active measures to deal with the misconduct of some enterprises in labor employment, urged them to give more care to the well-being of workers, improve their employees' working and living conditions, improve the mechanism for workers to voice their demands, establish platforms for workers to communicate with and help each other, and provide psychological and health consultation services for employees. Meanwhile, China properly guides public opinion with a view to creating a favorable social atmosphere conducive to the building of harmonious labor relations.

Settling labor disputes fairly and promptly

Settling labor disputes through mediation and arbitration is a remedial system with Chinese characteristics for safeguarding legitimate rights and interests of employees. To guarantee fairness and transparency in dealing with labor dispute cases, arbitration commissions are composed of three parties, namely, the representatives of appropriate departments of the government, trade unions and employers. By the end of 2009, China had 33,000 arbitrators in some 4,800 arbitration organizations.

The method of mediation and arbitration in settling labor disputes adheres to the principle of fairness, encourages parties in dispute to settle their disputes properly through consultations and mediation, and protects the legitimate rights and interests of parties concerned. In 2009 labor dispute arbitration organizations at various levels nationwide handled 875,000 cases. Some 684,000 cases were accepted for arbitration, a decrease of 1.3 percent compared to the previous year. The cases involved 1.017 million workers, a decrease of 16.3 percent compared to the previous year. According to Chinese law, parties that disagree with labor dispute arbitration award may institute proceedings to the people's courts. In 2009 people's courts at various levels completed 317,000 labor dispute cases, and successfully protected the legitimate rights and interests of the parties in dispute.

Enhancing labor security supervision

Law enforcement as regards labor security supervision is an important way to protect the legitimate rights and interests of workers. Labor security supervision organizations are mainly responsible for publicizing laws and regulations concerning labor security, accepting and handling workers' complaints and reports, and supervising employers' observance of the relevant laws. By the end of 2009, China had established 3,291 labor security supervision organizations staffed by a total of 23,000 supervisors.

In recent years, China's labor security supervision organizations have launched campaigns to investigate breaches of laws and regulations related to labor security, and strengthened supervision on and timely handled major law-breach cases with serious social impacts. The supervision of law enforcement protects workers' rights in career introduction, labor contract signing, working hours, salary payment, social insurance and special labor protection. In 2009 China's labor security supervision organizations inspected 1.751 million employers, involving 90.298 million workers; they examined and dealt with 439,000 cases of violation of labor security laws, and ordered employers who failed to sign labor contracts with their employees to sign labor contracts with 10.737 million employees.

Since the beginning of 2009 the Chinese Government has launched pilot projects of online labor security supervision and management in 60 cities so as to carry out comprehensive and dynamic supervision of employers for labor dispute prevention and timely intervention. Now, with the pilot projects working well, the new method will soon be applied nationwide.

VI. Actively Developing International Exchanges And Cooperation

The Chinese Government attaches great importance to international exchange and cooperation in human resources development, earnestly fulfilling its international obligations and continuously expanding the corresponding channels and scope so as to promote the establishment of the pattern for omni-directional and multi-level exchanges and cooperation in this regard.

China values the purposes and principles for the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, committing itself to the protection of people's rights to subsistence and development. It establishes, promulgates and improves labor standards in a rational and gradual manner. The Chinese Government, in line with its own economic and social development, has ratified 25 international labor conventions, such as the Convention Concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value, Convention on the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, Convention on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor, and Convention Concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, and has implemented these conventions. China is improving the laws and regulations concerning its human resources development, and promoting the ratification of conventions concerning labor, including the core ones under International Labor Organization.

The Chinese Government sets great store by establishing cooperative relations with international organizations or agencies such as the International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the field of human resources development, actively developing bilateral or multilateral exchange and cooperation with other countries and regions in this regard. Since China resumed its activities in the ILO in 1983, it has actively participated in international labor-related affairs, and engaged in international cooperation to boost employment, improve the social security system, establish harmonious labor relations, and formulate labor laws and regulations. In 2004 and 2007, respectively, China and the ILO jointly held the China Employment Forum and Asia Employment Forum. Since 1992 the Chinese Government has actively participated and played an important role in cooperation with APEC concerning the development of human resources. In 2001 China hosted the APEC High-level Meeting on Human Capacity Building, and adopted the Beijing Initiative. In September 2010 the 5th APEC Ministerial Meeting on Human Resources Development will be held in Beijing, serving as an important platform for Asia-Pacific economies to discuss issues such as employment after the financial crisis and human resources development. China became a full member of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in 1994, and held the 28th ISSA International Conference in Beijing in 2004, at which the Beijing Declaration was adopted. By the end of 2009, human resources and social security departments of the Chinese Government had established cooperative partnership relations with more than 80 countries and some important international organizations. The Chinese Government has signed accords for mutual exemption of social insurance premiums with Germany and the Republic of Korea to facilitate the flow of labor.

China has implemented a more open human resources policy since its adoption of reform and opening up to the outside world some three decades ago. The Chinese Government upholds a policy that encourages people to study abroad and return home to work, and gives them perfect freedom to make their own decisions. It strives to provide more opportunities for people to study abroad, and actively attracts the talented people to come back, providing the necessary support for those who return to find work or start their own businesses, and creating good working and living conditions for them. From 1978 to the end of 2009, Chinese people who studied abroad totaled 1.6207 million, of whom 497,400 had returned to China upon completion of their studies. China implements the Support Plan for Overseas Students to Return and Start Businesses and the Project for Returned Overseas Students to Serve the Country, encouraging and attracting its overseas students to return home to work and start businesses. The Chinese Government encourages foreigners to study in China and pays great attention to relative work. From 1978 to 2009, the number of foreign students from 190 countries and regions studying in China reached 1.69 million/times. China actively uses international education and training resources to cultivate talented people, initiating economic management training programs for leading officials, and overseas training programs for senior civil servants. It sent a total of 50,200 people overseas on training programs in 2009. It actively assists the United Nations in its organization of examinations in China, recommending qualified people to work in various international organizations. By the end of 2009, there were 1,002 Chinese working in different international organizations. The Chinese Government has been active in bringing in foreign talent, and the number of foreign experts who came to work in China reached 480,000 person/times in 2009. By the end of 2009, there were 223,000 foreigners working in China with employment permits. By the end of 2009, China had conferred "Friendship Awards" on 1,099 foreign experts, and "International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Awards" on 43 foreign experts.


Along with its economic and social development, and improvement in people's living standards, China has made remarkable headway in its human resources development. But as a developing country, China is still faced with many problems such as great challenges in employment, structural imbalance in human resources development, and lack of high-level, innovative people. China faces unprecedented opportunities and challenges in the sphere of human resources development.

In the new phase of the new century, the Chinese Government will put people's interests first, concentrate its care on all-round human development, and encourage and support everyone to make contributions and become accomplished in one or more fields. It will build a complete lifelong education system with the focus on making education more equitable and with improving educational quality as the core, so that all the people can enjoy their rights to education, make progress and apply what they have learned to practice. Bearing in mind that employment is the bedrock of the people's livelihood, the government will work harder to implement the strategy for increasing employment and a more active employment policy, encouraging people to start their own businesses to create more job opportunities. It will give priority to cultivating competent personnel, work harder to carry out the strategy of strengthening our nation through human resources development, focus on cultivating innovative scientists and engineers, train professionals who are in short supply and are needed by key areas for national economic and social development, and develop all types of human resources in a coordinated and all-round way. At the same time, it will persist in management innovation, break down outdated institutional barriers by deepening the reform and opening wider to the outside world, and strive to create a social environment that is full of vitality, highly efficient and more open.

In the future, wisdom and strength of the Chinese people will play a still better role, and there is bound to have a more solid foundation of human capability and human resources for the development and progress of China.


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