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Gov't Sets Major Tasks for Rural Development
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A central work meeting on rural development, which concluded in Beijing on Thursday, has set the targets for building a new socialist countryside in China during the upcoming 11th Five-Year Guideline period (2006-2010).

During the two-day conference, which was attended by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Huang Ju, the participants reached a common ground on the development of agriculture and rural areas in the next five years, as well as on how to stabilize grain production and promote the sustained increase of farmers' income.

The conference stressed that the development of agriculture and rural areas is of great significance due to China's national conditions.

"Only when the problems relating to agriculture, rural areas and the farmers have been solved properly, can China's economy develop in the correct direction," said a document from the conference.

The task of building a new socialist countryside, which was put forward at the Fifth Plenum of the 16th CPC (Communist Party of China) Central Committee in October, is of great historic importance, said the document.

"It is an important historical mission China must accomplish on its road toward modernization," it said. "This should become a common understanding of the entire party and the whole society."

"To realize the goal, the Party's policies concerning the rural areas must be earnestly implemented," it said. "The principle of giving (rural areas) more and taking less (from the rural areas) must be fully implemented to promote the development of the rural areas in an all-around manner."

It noted that the development of agriculture and the rural areas has always been a difficult task and a top priority for China, which is striving to build a generally affluent society and accelerate the modernization process.

The conference pointed out that China has made progress in enhancing agricultural productivity and improving the farmers' livelihood over the past years, thanks to the efforts of governments at all levels across the country.

However, it also pointed out that building a new socialist countryside is an overall goal and a long-term task, which should be pursued according to the actual situation of different places and the true will of the farmers.

"The campaign should focus on solving the real problems faced by the farmers in production and life, and should benefit the farmers and win their hearty support," the conference document cautioned.

(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2005)

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