China's rural reform and development has entered its second phase, with industry expected to nurture agriculture and cities to support rural areas, said Premier Wen Jiabao at a press conference in Beijing Monday.
"We should give more, take less and further liberalize the rural productivity," Wen said while meeting Chinese and foreign journalists who covered the just-ended Third Session of the10th National People's Congress.
He listed four jobs as the central tasks for the second phase. Firstly, efforts should be made to promote rural reforms with focus on rural tax and administrative fee reform.
Secondly, productivity in the rural areas should be improved by building more water conservation projects and promoting wider application of agriculture-related science and technologies.
Thirdly, "we should also further develop education, science and technology, culture as well as other social undertakings in the rural areas," Wen said.
And finally, grass-roots democracy should be promoted by enhancing the ability of self-governance among villagers, implementing direct election at the village level and giving greater transparency in administration affairs at the village and county level, he added.
In the first phase for rural reform and development, China has introduced to the rural areas the family contract responsibility system, which has granted farmers greater autonomy in land use, production and management. "As a result, it has greatly liberalized productivity in the rural areas," Wen said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2005)