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Chinese Political Parties Voice Up on Unemployment

The first motion presented to China's top political advisory body's annual plenary session, which opened on Tuesday, dealt squarely with unemployment.

The motion, entitled "Resolutions on Solving Employment Pressure Caused by the Global Financial Crisis", was submitted by the China Zhi Gong Party, which has strong ties to overseas Chinese.

It noted that the financial crisis had dampened employment opportunities at a time when college graduates were at a peak in China, and suggested leaders should not look for a quick fix in economic growth, which it said would not necessarily correlate to job creation.

Instead, the government should focus on the relationship between labor-intensive, capital-intensive, and technology-intensive industries, and support the development of training and internship opportunities for jobseekers to make them more marketable, the proposal said.

Other parties had also released proposals related to employment, including the China National Democratic Construction Association (CNDCA) and the China Democratic League.

The CNDCA suggested in a draft resolution that laid-off workers who have returned to the countryside should seize the chance to improve their entrepreneurial skills and work together to found local firms.

A People's Daily poll online asking readers to vote on the issues leaders should focus on reflected how Chinese have become increasingly anxious about their livelihoods. Health care, food safety, the income gap, and employment topped the list.

Meanwhile, Chinese forums were being bombarded by feedback, with many netizens writing open pleas for solutions to unemployment, a lack of healthcare and retirement benefits, corruption, and other ills that they said hit lower echelons of the society hardest.

One netizen in a China.com forum had this to say to leaders involved in the meetings:  "What of the 40, 50 year olds who've lost their job, are sick and unable to find new job? They've worked their whole lives building New China, and yet we can't give them what they need to survive? They are not asking much, just enough to get by."

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