Recruitment of elite farmers hailed as significant step in party development

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, May 8, 2011
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The rural population of the Chinese mainland stands at 674 million, accounting for 50.32 percent of the mainland's total population of 1.34 billion, according to last year's census.

The development of the country's vast countryside is pivotal to China's goal of building a well-off society by 2020. However, a yawning rural-urban income gap has become a headache for the CPC, with urban residents making about three times as much as their rural counterparts.

Millions of farmers migrate to cities every year to seek out new jobs and opportunities.

"Farmers have had difficult times in the fields. They live at the mercy of the elements and a year's hard work may leave them with hardly anything," Wu says, recalling the time when he made up his mind to move to Guangdong to find a new job.

Economists believe that migration from rural areas has instilled energy into China's modernization drive. But at the same time, these migrants are paying a price. Rural migrants face many problems, such as how to support the families they have left behind in their hometowns.

Cai Longbin, head of the organization department of Fenggang County's CPC committee, says that Party committees in rural areas play a key role in tackling problems in the countryside.

"The Party's recruitment of talented farmers has consolidated its organizational bases in rural areas. Rural cooperatives and agricultural associations have played a leading role in the rural economy," he says.

Analysts believe the Party's recruitment of farmers like Wu is an echo of requirements set forward during the Fourth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee held in September of 2009.

During the meeting, CPC leadership urged the strengthening of grassroots-level Party committees. Nowadays,the biggest task for these committees is to promote local economies and boost the incomes of rural residents.

At the age of 59, Lu Daishu, a villager from Guizhou's Songyan Township, is the area's oldest person to apply for CPC membership. Lu converted his home into a service center for villagers back in 2008.

"Villagers come to me when they have disputes, or if they have any suggestions for village affairs. My sons often call me 'village judge' because I often help to resolve disputes here," Lu says.

Village employment levels became a concern for Lu after he was elected head of the village's Heping Community in 2009.

With the help of the township's administration, Lu persuaded a tea producer and a fruit company to set up shop in his village. The tea company alone created 100 jobs for local farmers.

Lu's leadership has won him praise from local farmers and recognition from the local Party committee.

In October 2010, the local Party committee admitted Lu as a probationary member of the CPC, which means he can become a formal member of the party this October if he refrains from violating his probation.

"I like my identity as a Party member. Nowadays, most applicants are young people, and my new identity makes me feel younger as well," he says.

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