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China Vows to Target Rural Development
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China will strive harder to develop rural areas as it is of vital importance to the effort to build a well-off society in an all-round way, according to a top-level meeting held in Beijing Thursday.

The meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, presided over by General Secretary Hu Jintao, was devoted to the development of agriculture and the rural areas in the next year.

Agriculture and rural development must be a priority for the Party in the coming year in a bid to balance the growth of both urban and rural areas, according to sources with the meeting.

The meeting called on all localities and departments concerned to direct greater efforts to increase farmers' income rather quickly, continue to promote agricultural restructuring, improve the quality and export of farm produce, accelerate the adjustment and reform of township enterprises, develop small towns, and boost the transfer of surplus rural labor force.

Financial input in agriculture and the countryside should be increased so as to facilitate eco-environmental protection, the construction of medium-sized and small infrastructure projects, and the poverty-alleviation drive.

The meeting urged efforts to maintain a stable policy toward rural development, deepened rural reform, and mobilize and protect the enthusiasm of farmers.

Rural education, science and technology, health, cultural development and other social undertakings must be strengthened so as to gradually narrow the gap between urban and rural areas.

It was decided at the meeting that the central conference on rural work would be held soon.

(Xinhua News Agency December 27, 2002)

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