The building of a new countryside is essential to solving the current problems concerning farmers, rural areas and agriculture in China, says a commentary in Beijing News. An excerpt follows:
The central government released a document on the building of a new socialist countryside on Tuesday. It gives an important explanation on issues concerning farmers, rural areas and agriculture.
The government has set building a new socialist countryside as the primary task in the 11th Five-Year Program period (2006-10). And the new document has given a detailed guideline.
After a few years of accumulation of economic power and policy practices, the government is now trying to solve the issues of farmers, rural areas and agriculture from the angle of promoting harmonious rural-urban and socio-economic development.
The building of a new countryside is a historic transition point in China's modernization process. Different from the rural construction campaign in the 1920s and 1930s, which was promoted by a group of idealist intellectuals, the new rural construction is endorsed by the Chinese Government and supported by the whole of Chinese society.
Since the country restarted its modernization drive in the late 1970s, especially since the mid-1980s, the national reform has focused on cities. Now the central government has adjusted the focus of our public policies. It is likely that over a long period the country will boost rural construction, enhance rural reform and accelerate our overall modernization process.
The government should mainly focus on providing public products and services in rural areas. Education is essential to changing the backward situation in rural areas. Investment in human resources is important.
To build a new countryside in the market economy is a complicated and tough project. We should get fully prepared for a long-term and arduous task.
(China Daily February 23, 2006)