chapter  12
17 Pages

Popular responses to China’s emerging welfare state

In late 2008, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) posted the text of the draft Social Insurance Law (SIL) on its website for public comment. The draft SIL represented a major piece of social legislation aimed at erasing the highly fragmented and inequitable welfare practices in place since the early 1990s, in which rural residents and migrant workers were largely excluded from coverage under health care, pensions, and other programs that urban residents received. By the end of the 50-day comment period on February 15, 2009, the NPC had received a total of 70,501 responses (yijian

) from citizens from all 31 provinces and from social sectors including urbanites, workers, civil servants, students, soldiers, farmers, migrant workers, and retirees.1