Chinese Premier stressed the importance of building new socialist countryside on Tuesday.
"The issues concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers are fundamental ones that have bearings on the overall China's modernization drive," Wen said while meeting the press following the concluding meeting of the 4th Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC)
Building the new socialist countryside refers to putting agriculture and rural areas "more prominently on the agenda of China's modernization drive," Wen said.
Apart from completely rescinding agricultural taxes, China plans to earmark 339.7 billion yuan (US$43 billion) for agriculture, rural areas and farmers in 2006, 42.2 billion yuan more than last year, according to Wen's work report at this year's NPC session.
Wen said China need to implement a policy of getting industry to support agriculture and cities to support the countryside, strengthen support for agriculture, rural areas and farmers.
"This is a major fundamental step to be taken in the overall modernization drive," Wen said.
Building the new socialist countryside should focus on developing modern agriculture and improving the comprehensive agriculture capacity.
In building new socialist countryside, democratic rights of the farmers should be safeguarded, especially their rights on land contracting and management, Wen said.
Wen also called for delivering "tangible interest to the farmers" and targeting "practical results rather than formalism."
Premier Wen's press conference was telecast live in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday morning.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2006)