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Changing Approaches of Social Protection: Social Assistance Reform in Urban China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 June 2004

Xiaoyuan Shang
Affiliation:
Beijing Normal University and University of New South Wales E-mail: shangxy@hotmail.com
Xiaoming Wu
Affiliation:
University of Canterbury, Christchurch E-mail: xiaoming.wu@canterbury.ac.nz

Abstract

The article will examine the latest development of China's urban social assistance reform. Under the impact of the dual processes of globalisation and the deepening market transition, China's social security reform is increasingly taking a new safety net approach to assist the urban poor, instead of relying mainly on social insurance provision. The minimum living security project for urban residents is one of the approaches supplementing social insurance in social protection. In 2002, about one-third of social security beneficiaries were supported by the newly developed social assistance project. The changing approach does not mean that the government is withdrawing from its responsibility for social insurance to the urban workers, but reflects the changing goals and means of social policies. This indicates that China's social welfare system is shifting towards a new residual welfare model.

Type
Themed Section on Globalisation and Welfare Systems in Asia
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2004

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Footnotes

The authors are particularly grateful to Wang Zhenyao for his devotion to poverty alleviation in China. As the Director of the Bureau of Disaster Relief and Social Relief, Dr Wang has played a leading role in the rapid development of the MLS system in China since 2001. The authors are also grateful to Wang Hui for his support of the research, and Yue Wu for proofreading and his understanding our efforts in this research.
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