BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Ten ministerial-level departments, including the ministries of civil affairs and education, on Monday jointly released a circular calling for the country to prepare for the coming aging society.
The circular stressed the importance of building an elder-friendly society as the percentage of the senior population is rising quickly.
China's aging citizens reached 200 million at the end of 2013 and will account for more than 30 percent of the country's total population by 2042, according to the circular.
Government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should carry out more voluntary services for the elderly and encourage the young generation to be more aware of seniors' needs and concerns.
The circular also called for accelerating development of industries serving the demands and convenience of the elderly, such as nursing homes and adult education classes, the circular said.
Elderly citizens should not be regarded as burdens but valuable human resources for the sustainable growth of the economy, according to the circular.
The public sector will encourage the elderly to participate in various social activities, such as teaching in schools or helping with scientific research, in order to give them a sense of satisfaction while also promoting social harmony and the economy.
The circular also emphasized establishment of a national elderly care system, strengthening social security for the elderly and improving laws that protect the rights and interests of senior citizens.