Social laws. China's social laws are the collection of laws and regulations with respect to the adjustment of labor relations, social security, social welfare and protection of the rights and interests of special groups. It follows the principle of justice, harmony and appropriate state intervention. By performing their duties, the state and society provide necessary protection for the rights and interests of laborers, the unemployed, the incapacitated for work, as well as other special groups in need of help so as to safeguard social equity and promote social harmony. By the end of August 2011, China had enacted 18 laws in this particular field and a large number of administrative and local regulations to regulate labor relations and social security.
China's Labor Law deals with labor relations and other relationships closely related to them, such as labor protection, labor safety and hygiene, occupational training, labor disputes and labor supervision, thus establishing China's basic labor system. China has enacted the Law on Mine Safety, Law on Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases, and Production Safety Law and some other laws, making provisions for safe production and prevention of occupational diseases, and strengthening the protection of the rights and interests of laborers. It has enacted the Labor Contract Law, Employment Promotion Law, and Law on Labor Dispute Mediation and Arbitration, thus establishing and improving the system, which is suited to the socialist market economy, of labor contract, employment promotion and labor dispute settlement. It has enacted the Red Cross Society Law, Law on Donation for Public Welfare Undertakings and Regulations on Foundation Administration, thereby establishing and improving the system that promotes the development and administration of public welfare undertakings. It has formulated the Trade Union Law and revised it twice, defining the status of trade unions in the country's political, economic and social life, clarifying the rights and obligations of trade unions, and playing an active role in safeguarding laborers' legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law.
China attaches importance to the building of its social security system. It has enacted the Social Insurance Law, established a social insurance system which covers both rural and urban residents, basic endowment insurance, basic health insurance, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance, guaranteeing that all citizens can get necessary material aid and living allowances when they get old, sick, injured or unemployed, or give birth. It stipulates that the basic endowment funds should be managed at the national level, and other social insurance funds managed at the provincial level. It has set up a system for the inter-regional transfer of laborers' social security. The State Council has enacted the Regulations on Unemployment Insurance, Regulations on Work-related Injury Insurance, Provisional Regulations on Collection and Payment of Social Insurance Premiums, and Regulations on the Work Regarding the Rural Five Guarantees. It has decided to establish a new rural endowment insurance and new rural cooperative health care system. They all play an important role in promoting the building of a social security system. The gradual establishment of the social security system provides legal guarantee for the Chinese government to accelerate the building of the social security network in accordance with the law, safeguard social equality and build a harmonious society. At present, the coverage of China's social security is expanding from state-owned enterprises to various social and economic organizations, from workers and staff members of organizations to self-employed people and other residents, and from the urban areas to the rural areas. By the end of 2010 the endowment insurance system of urban workers covered 257 million people, an increase of 1.7 times compared with 2002, and the new rural endowment insurance system covered 103 million people. The basic health insurance for rural and urban residents covered 1.26 billion people, 13 times the number in 2002. Work-related injury insurance covered 161 million people. The coverage of unemployment insurance and maternity insurance is also expanding rapidly. The State Council has also formulated the Measures for Assisting Vagrants and Beggars with No Means of Support in Cities, Regulations on Legal Aid, Regulations on Natural Disaster Relief, and Regulations on Minimum Subsistence Allowance for Urban Residents, and has decided to set up a minimum subsistence allowance program for rural residents, thus basically establishing a social relief system covering both urban and rural areas. By the end of 2010 some 77 million residents with financial difficulties in China received minimum subsistence allowance. The level of China's social security is constantly improving, and people are sharing the fruits of development.