Well the China People's Congress met today...and firmed plans for the previously announced $585 billion economic stimulus, and in an apparent attempt to head off social unrest, Premier Wen announced sweeping changes to social welfare. Will be very interesting to see how it plays out - the government is looking and sounding confident. Incredibly, they have set a target for 8% GDP growth next year as well.
Among its proposed allocations, the government plans to spend 146 billion yuan ($21 billion) on its science and technology sector, up 25 percent from last year; 293 billion yuan ($43 billion) in social security, up 17.6 percent; and 130 billion yuan ($19 billion) to speed up recovery in areas hit by the massive deadly earthquake that struck Sichuan province in August.
Landmark social security legislation will be considered that would make universal unemployment and retirement benefits as well as health care. If implemented, it would mark a major change in the nation's social welfare system.
It's a good thing they have a lot of cash on hand...they're going to need it!