Xi's strategy key to Zhejiang's balanced development
Pan Wenge, secretary of the Communist Party of China local branch in the Yucun Village, shows the plans to upgrade the village to a 5A tourist destination, in Yucun Village of Anji County, east China's Zhejiang Province, June 2, 2018. In 2017, there were an estimated 400,000 visitors from home and abroad to Yucun. [Photo:Xinhua/Tan Jin]
Under the guidance of a strategy proposed by then party chief Xi Jinping, Zhejiang province has explored a way to develop rural and urban areas in a balanced manner.
Residents in Hou'an village have lived off the stone business for generations, but just over a decade ago the local environment had been nearly destroyed.
Then, with the launch of an environmental protection project back in 2007, the village was turned into a national 4-A scenic spot.
Chen Wenyun is a village official.
"The change from slabstone sales to the scenery business has not only improved the environment, but also made people rich. In the next step, we will promote a comprehensive farmland program to stimulate development among nearby villages."
The project, designed to address environment and infrastructure problems in the rural area, aims to build 1,000 demonstration villages and revitalize 10,000 more.
While building a beautiful countryside, the province has also strived to promote a balanced development between rural and urban areas.
Amid the effort, an integrated public transport system was launched in Huzhou City in June.
Lin Chunhui with the municipal transport department said this could reduce up to 80 percent of passenger fares.
"Our biggest wish is to facilitate people's trips and increase their sense of satisfaction."
All these benefits indeed originated from the "eight-eight strategy" put forward by Xi Jinping, then-Secretary of the CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee, in July 2003.
"We have focused on accelerating the balanced development of social undertakings. In education, to create and improve schooling conditions for rural students, free compulsory education has been made available for all school-age children since Autumn 2006. In public healthcare, efforts have been made to provide affordable sufficient medical services for the people and raise the public awareness of disease prevention, step up the rural health project, promote the new-type rural cooperative medical care system and improve the public health service system at the community level."
Xi Jinping says provincial authorities have emphasized coordination in rural-urban development.
"We stress coordination in the rural and urban infrastructural construction, thoroughly implement the projects to build 1,000 demonstration villages, revitalize 10,000 villages, provide safe drinking water for the rural people and increase welfare for them. We have also piloted the program to synergize development plans among cities and counties and accelerated the expansion of urban infrastructure systems to rural areas."
Guided by the strategy, the rural per capita income in Zhejiang has ranked 1st in China for many consecutive years while the ratio of rural and urban per capita income narrowed from 2.3:1 to the current 2.05:1, the lowest in China.
Jiang Weifeng is from the provincial agricultural authority.
"Zhejiang has combined the development of urban and rural areas, promoted the progress of livable environments, public service, infrastructure and related reforms in a coordinated manner, and made it one of provinces boasting the narrowest income gap between the rural and urban areas, as well as the fastest rural development and the best public services."