China targets rural issues in central document

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The Chinese authorities Thursday issued its first policy document for 2013, highlighting the significance of developing modern agriculture to strengthen the vitality of rural areas.

The first policy document, issued by the central committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, the Cabinet, is the No. 1 central document. This is the tenth consecutive year the document has focused on rural problems.

The nine former documents were as follows:

--- The No. 1 central document issued on Feb.1, 2012, took "accelerating the scientific and technological innovation to strengthen supply of agricultural products" as its theme.

The document underscored the role technology plays in ensuring sustained agricultural growth and effective supply of agricultural products.

China should promote industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization simultaneously, and roll out more policies to strengthen agriculture, benefit farmers, and enrich rural areas. It should work hard to yield a good harvest, increase farmers' incomes and maintain the social harmony and stability in rural areas, the document said.

--- The No. 1 central document issued on Jan. 29, 2011, took "accelerating development of water conservancy" as its theme.

The document set a target of improving the country's underdeveloped water conservancy works over the next five to 10 years. It said the government will double average annual spending on water conservancy over the next 10 years from that of 2010.

It highlighted weaknesses in water conservancy infrastructure exposed by floods and drought in recent years, noting that the country will finish building effective flood control and drought relief systems by the end of 2020.

--- The No. 1 central document issued on Jan. 31, 2010, took "speeding up coordinated development between urban and rural areas and further cementing foundation of agricultural and rural area development" as its theme.

China will put more investment, subsidies, fiscal and policy supports into rural areas in 2010 and improve the livelihoods of rural residents, the document said.

It called for more efforts to maintain grain production, increase farmers' incomes and development momentum in rural areas.

--- The No. 1 central document issued on Feb. 1, 2009, took "achieving steady agricultural development and sustained income increases for farmers" as its theme.

The document highlighted challenges posed by the global downturn to agricultural and rural development. It urged authorities to take resolute measures to avoid declining grain production and to ensure the steady expansion of agriculture and rural stability.

--- The No. 1 central document issued on Jan. 30, 2008, took "fortifying the foundation of agriculture" as its theme.

The document ordered rapid development of an enduring mechanism for consolidating the foundation of agriculture, calling for more efforts to guarantee grain product safety and a balance between supply and demand, and between various grain products.

--- The No. 1 central document issued on Jan. 29, 2007, had "developing modern agriculture and steadily promoting the construction of a new socialist countryside" as its theme.

Modern equipment, science and technology, industrial systems, management and development ideas should be nurtured to improve the quality, economic returns and competitiveness of agriculture, the document said.

--- The No. 1 central document issued on Feb. 21, 2006, took "constructing a new socialist countryside" as its theme.

The document said constructing a new socialist countryside was the foremost task facing China in the 2006-2010 five-year period.

It urged for more efforts in coordinating the development of urban and rural areas, developing modern agriculture, boosting farmers' incomes, enhancing rural infrastructure, promoting social causes in rural areas and deepening rural reforms.

--- The No. 1 central document issued on Jan. 30, 2005, took "strengthening rural work and improving the overall production capacity of agriculture" as its theme.

China should bring into full play farmers and local governments' initiatives of increasing grain production and boost financial, governmental and technological support for the agriculture sector with the aim to improve agricultural production capacity, the document said.

--- The No. 1 central document issued on Feb. 8, 2004, took "boosting farmers' incomes" as its theme.

The document stressed that raising farmer's incomes was a significant issue both economically and politically. It prescribed measures including adjusting agricultural structure, increasing jobs for farmers, enhancing rural investment, deepening rural reforms, and advancing agriculture-related science and technology.

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