China achieves remarkable results in improving people’s livelihood during 13th Five-Year Plan

Chinese people have witnessed many positive changes in their lives during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period, as the Chinese government has fulfilled its promise to improve people’s livelihood in various aspects.

Customers select products at a duty-free shop in Haikou, south China’s Hainan Province, Oct. 4, 2020. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

After much hard work, most of the quantitative indicators set in the plan have either been exceeded or fully completed, said Liu Aihua, spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), at a press conference in July, adding that the task of doubling GDP and the per capita income was currently close to completion.

“My income doubled over the past five years,” said a post-80s woman surnamed Zhang who works in Beijing, explaining that her monthly income currently exceeds 10,000 yuan (about $1,493), compared to about 5,000 yuan in 2015.

“A higher income also means a higher consumption level. On average, I have travelled two or three times a year over the past few years,” she added.

The target to double farmers’ income has been achieved ahead of schedule, according to the latest data from the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. In 2019, the per capita disposable income of rural residents exceeded 16,000 yuan (almost $2,400), doubling 2010’s figure one year ahead of schedule.


China has realized more convenient transportation over the past five years, with the country’s Fuxing bullet train operating at 350 kilometers per hour, becoming the world’s first self-driving high-speed train that runs at such a high speed. Data shows that the commercial mileage of high-speed railways will reach 38,000 kilometers by the end of 2020, ranking first in the world, covering 95 percent of large cities with populations over 1 million.

The country has also witnessed a boom in ride-hailing and bike-sharing services during the same period. According to data from the Ministry of Transport, over 190 car-hailing platforms in China have obtained operating licenses, with the country now maintaining a daily average ride-hailing order volume of more than 21 million. Receiving an average daily order of 45.7 million, bike-sharing service providers have 19.45 million shared bicycles in over 360 cities.

Additionally, Chinese people are enjoying more convenient methods of shopping. Compared to 45 per capita express packages in China in 2019, the figure is expected to approach 60 this year, about twice the world average. The volume of the express delivery sector in the country has quadrupled over the past five years, exceeding 80 billion packages from 20.7 billion in 2015. Last year, China’s express delivery volume exceeded that of the developed economies of the United States, Japan and Europe combined.

A mobile payment service and pilot program aiming to promote the application of digital currency in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong province, are also contributing factors in boosting customers’ shopping experience.

Photo taken on Jan. 28, 2020 shows a Huawei 5G mobile phone testing speed at the Huawei 5G Innovation and Experience Center in London, Britain. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Chinese residents have also enjoyed cheaper and faster internet connections. By the end of 2019, the household penetration rate of fixed broadband and the user penetration rate of mobile broadband had reached 91 and 96 percent, respectively, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Over 80 million households had access to a 1,000-megabyte fiber internet connection, with over 1.2 billion people subscribing to a 4G network. China now has 690,000 5G base stations nationwide, benefiting over 160 million users.

“The average rates for mobile internet services have been cut by 95 percent compared to rates in late 2015,” said Wen Ku, director of the Telecom Development Department and spokesperson of the MIIT.

With Chinese residents enjoying more blue sky days, from January to September the proportion of days with fairly good air quality in cities at or above the prefecture level reached 87.2 percent, according to data from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. The country is expected to meet the goal of at least 84.5 percent of days with good air quality by year’s end. 

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