China is facing a demographic time bomb and the government has decided it is time to take action to meet the social service needs of its rapidly increasing elderly population.   According to Xinhua News, the Chinese government this week announced the creation of a five-year plan that will increase the number of nursing homes and community care centers around the country.

According to the plan, the country will work to transform some unused public buildings into nursing homes and encourage small hotels, villages, enterprises and hospitals to convert unused facilities into nursing homes.   At least 50 percent of revenue from the state welfare lottery program will be spent on social services for the elderly.   The government is also providing preferential policies of land use and credit to encourage enterprises and non-governmental organizations to invest in the sector.