More than 8,000 villages on the Chinese mainland have each generated wealth of 100 million yuan (US$13.3 million) or more since the first of its kind emerged in 1987, according to a latest survey.
The villages, including 11 ones whose gross domestic product surpasses 10 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion) each, create a total of 1.6 trillion yuan of wealth, show the statistics from the Chinese Association for Promoting Township and Village Development.
The survey shows more than 60 percent of the 100-million-yuan villages are located in eastern developed regions such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Guangdong and Zhejiang.
The development of the villages is mainly driven by special farming and raising industries, heavy industries, tourism, trade and commerce, it says.
Daqiu village in the suburbs of Tianjin became the first 100-million-yuan village in 1987 on the Chinese mainland, driven by industries such as steel and printing since the country started economic reform and opening-up policy in 1978.
In 2003, Huaxi village, in east China's Jiangsu Province, became the first village to generate 10 billion yuan of gross domestic product.
China now has 600,000 villages.
"The rich villages will play an active role in driving the underdeveloped rural areas in China through economic strength and experience," said Yang Yongzhe, a consultant to the association.
But many of them also face a change of development mode from relying on labor-intensive or steel and chemical industries to developing high-tech industries, Yang said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2007)