China's central government released a document on the building of a new socialist countryside on February 21, 2006. 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 Plan period (2006-10), detailed new guidelines being provided.
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. Differing from the rural construction campaigns in the 1920s and 1930s, which were 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, the national reform has focused on cities especially since the mid-1980s. Now the central government has adjusted the focus of its 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 and human resources investment is vital.