Representatives from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China (MoHRSS), the European Union and International Labour Office (ILO) met for the official launch of the project “Improving China’s institutional capacity towards universal social protection”.
This three year project, of a value of up to EUR 2.3 million, aims at providing technical support to the MoHRSS to promote effective application of international labour standards in China’s pursuit of universal, adequate and sustainable social security coverage. The project will promote exchange of best practices with European countries in that regard. It is funded by the European Union’s Partnership Instrument, aimed at promoting policy cooperation between the EU and priority countries in areas of mutual interest.
Around 50 representatives from the MoHRSS and local Social Insurance Administration Bureau from 11 participating provinces attended the launch event presided by the Director General of the International Department at the MoHRSS, Mr Hao Bin.
Welcome remarks were made by the Vice Minister of MoHRSS Mr You Jun, who said: "China has built the largest social security network in the world. But like other countries it is now confronted with challenges including the impact of ageing in the long term balance of social security funds and the expansion of the digital economy. This project will strengthen international exchanges between EU, China and ILO to resolve some of these challenges."
Mr Nicolas Chapuis, Ambassador of the European Union to China, reminded the audience that "Above all, social protection should be seen as a form of productive investment into our people. Human capital is a key driver for competitiveness, sustainable growth and economic resilience."
Mrs Claire Courteille Mulder, Director of the ILO office in Beijing, mentioned that: "The ongoing changes have a direct impact on the world of work. This year’s reflection on the future of work and the recently adopted Centenary Declaration have identified social protection as a key mechanism for governments, workers and employers to navigate these new transitions, while upholding the principles of social justice. “
Director-General Level Counsel from Social Insurance Administration at the MoHRSS, Mr Xu Yanjun highlighted the significance of this project to upgrade social security public governance systems. He indicated the themes of collaboration were highly relevant especially considering the rapid advent of platform economy, which China is leading internationally. Representatives from Social security administration from Jiangsu province and Ningxia Autonomous region expressed their commitment to collaborate in order to improve people’s sense of security in face of rapid technological and demographic changes.
The project's objectives are two-fold: first, its purpose is to contribute to the extension of social security coverage to workers in non-standard forms of employment, with a focus on digital platform workers and special attention to migrant workers and women. Through the exploration of the persisting regulatory and operational bottlenecks and the potential of digital social security administration, the project will contribute to extending social security coverage of most hard to reach workers. Secondly, it aims to contribute to the improvement of the adequacy and sustainability of old-age benefits. Support will continue to be given to Government of China to further align its social security measures with international social security standards and to consider the ratification of relevant standards such as ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102).
The Department of International Cooperation of MoHRSS is the national counterpart of the project. The Social Insurance Administration of MoHRSS is the executive agency responsible for project implementation, in collaboration with Chinese Academy of Labour and Social Security, ACFTU – All China Federation of Trade Unions and CEC – China Enterprise Confederation.
For more information about the project, visit the project’s website: