Xi urges more initiatives to help disabled
BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) - President Xi Jinping called on Thursday for persistent efforts to support people with disabilities in China and said he expected further achievements to be made in this field.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while meeting with representatives of disabled people who have shown great perseverance, as well as their able-bodied counterparts who endeavor to help them.
The president greeted them and asked them about their work and life, before they posed for group photos at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Premier Li Keqiang and Wang Huning, both members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, attended the meeting.
The meeting followed a conference earlier in the day, at which 500 individuals and organizations were commended for their contribution to people in China with disabilities.
Speaking at the conference, State Councilor Wang Yong said China will roll out stronger measures to meet the needs of disabled people, help them shake off poverty and ensure equal rights.
People with disabilities should learn from those who were honored at the conference, learn from their spirit and strive to create a happier and better life, he said.
China has an estimated 85 million people with disabilities. The group accounts for a large number of the nation’s rural poor. China is currently undertaking major poverty-relief efforts aimed at eradicating absolute poverty by the end of next year.
According to a report to the seventh national congress of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, more than 5 million disabled people were lifted out of extreme poverty in the five-year period which ended last year, and 1.7 million households with disabled members had unsafe housing renovated.
Around 20 million disabled people received physical rehabilitation services during the period, and 4 million benefited from care services. Around 44,300 disabled candidates were admitted to mainstream universities via gaokao, China’s college entrance exam, and 2.11 million have benefited from improved accessibility to their homes, the report said.
Peng Chao, 24, a law student at Sichuan University, and one of those who were honored at the conference, said he has never regarded himself as a “disabled person”.
“I can do the same things with my feet that other people do with their hands,” he said while speaking at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office.
The fourth-year student added that he is planning to apply to the university’s graduate school.
Wang Lei, another award winner who has walking difficulties and a son with autism, said at the news conference that he wants more equality, respect and fairness for people such as him.
“I hope people who help us can understand our needs,” said the 51-year-old who runs an animation company in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, that employs many people with disabilities.
“I hope more people could follow my path to help people like me, and show more understanding to us,” he said.
Liu Fang, a blind psychological adviser at a middle school in Guiyang, Guizhou province, encouraged people with disabilities to win respect for themselves.
“We have disabilities but we don’t see ourselves as being different. We all deserve respect, but we need to have reasons to be respected,” she said.