Chinese government steps up efforts in rural poverty alleviation
The file photo shows a tourist hugging a 300kg pumpkin at an ecology park in Guiyang, Guizhou Province. [Photo: Chinanews.com]
New plans have been released for the "rural vitalization strategic program," which is designed to implement the policies connected to this year's "No. 1 central document" released by the central government.
Han Jun, who heads the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group, suggests more policy and financial support for rural development will be rolled out with the 'rural vitalization strategy' under the newly-released "No. 1 central document".
"We want to ensure that financing from the central government will be properly invested into sectors that can help revitalize rural areas. And one thing I want to make clear is that any borrowing and financing activities by local governments has to be regulated. Local governments are not allowed to illegally take on debts in the name of rural development. A bigger share of the value-added income from the land should be allocated to poverty alleviation and rural revitalization."
The "No. 1 central document" is the name traditionally given to the first policy statement of the year released by the central authorities, and is seen as an indicator of policy priorities.
As per recent tradition, this year's document is devoted to agriculture, farmers and rural areas.
The new document released on Sunday notes that by rejuvinating the rural regions, China's government expects to create a strong agricultural sector, a beautiful countryside and well-off farmers.
The strategy this time in the "No. 1 central document" deals specifically with the urban-rural development gap facing the country.
A package of policies will be rolled out to create better rural governance, better education and medical services, improved infrastructure, reforms on land use and collective property rights.
Chen Xiwen, deputy director of the economic affairs committee of China's top political advisory body, says the strategy should help increase farmers' incomes and create more jobs.
"The central government has proposed the rural revitalization strategy based on the fact that China has a huge rural population. One key problem facing us is how to create more jobs for farmers and increase their incomes in this new era of economic development. As the country's GDP growth slows, cities may not be able to offer millions of jobs for rural workers as before. This is why we should be trying to integrate primary, secondary and tertiary industries in the rural areas."
Stats show China has a rural population of nearly 600 million.
Even if the country's urbanization rate reaches 70 percent by 2030 as expected, at least 450 million people will still live in the rural areas.
This is why experts say its very important for authorities to put more of a focus on the rural sector.
Zhang Hongyu is director of Rural Economic Systems and Management with the Ministry of Agriculture.
"Our biggest vision is to solve China's problem with Chinese resources and meet Chinese demands with our own supplies."
More favorable policies are due to be introduced to support infrastructure projects, tourism and the development of new business opportunities in China's rural areas.