Float depicts China's rural transformation at National Day parade

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, October 1, 2009
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Jubilant Chinese farmers performed folk dance on a float moving past Tian'anmen Square Thursday morning, revealing their rejoice at New China's grandest National Day parade.

With a theme of "Constructing the socialist new countryside", the float was surrounded by farmer representatives wearing colorful folk clothes and waving wheatears.

Taking more than half of China's population, a well-off rural society is fundamental to the prosperity of the entire nation.

Rural development was once left behind by the nation's market economic reform started in the 1980s which emphasized urban expansion and private business.

To narrow the rural-urban disparity, government has attached unprecedented importance on rural problems over the past decade.

It initiated a program in 2005 of constructing new socialist countryside, which aimed to let the 900 million rural people sufficiently share the benefits of the economic success.

The government has massively beefed up rural spending to build roads, water conservation facilities, and expand power grids.

Farmers are encouraged to diversify their ways of making money as 225 million became migrant workers who landed non-agriculture jobs at their hometowns or in cities by the end of last year.

Social and cultural benefits have been greatly improved for farmers as half of rural households have telephones and 98 percent of townships have access to Internet. All schoolchildren enjoy free compulsory education.

The new cooperative medical system ensures affordable medical services for rural population. And a pilot rural pension insurance program will cover ten percent of China's counties by the end of this year.

From 1949 to 2008, the net income for farmers increased from 44 yuan to 4,761 yuan a year. However, the 2008 figure was only one third of the revenue earned by urban residents, which requires the persistent efforts of the Chinese government to bridge the gap.

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