Big Efforts In Rural Reform Needed: Xi
President Xi Jinping has called for more to be done to advance rural reform to ensure that measures result in a solid agricultural sector and improve the well-being of farmers. Mr Xi made the remarks when he presided over a symposium on rural reform in a village in Fengyang County in east China’s Anhui Province. Addressing the symposium with local officials in Xiaogang Village, often referred to as the birthplace of China’s rural reform, Mr Xi, said that work related to agriculture, rural areas, and farmers was Communist Party of China’s top priority. In 1978, some farmers in Xiaogang secretly signed an agreement to divide their People’s Commune farmland into family plots -an ingenious idea, albeit illegal at that time. Each plot was to be worked by a family. Their crops were then divided between the government, the collective and the families themselves. This process resulted in bumper grain production and the initiative was soon rolled out across the country, creating a system that combined unified and decentralised management. Mr Xi called the system “an important corner stone” for the CPC’s rural policy. There have been great changes in the countryside since the fledgling days of reform and opening up in China. Farmers now have brighter prospects thanks to socialism with Chinese characteristics, Mr Xi said. He underscored the important role that agriculture, farmers and the countryside play -- as they are integral to the country’s modernisation and to the goal of building a moderately prosperous society. The core of deepening rural reform is upholding and improving the basic rural operation system, sticking to collective ownership of rural land, adhering to the fundamental status of household management in agriculture, and insisting on keeping land-contracted relationship stable, said Mr Xi. He called for more pilot programmes that explore contracted rural land-use rights, noting that the separation of contract rights and operation rights had been a milestone in rural reform.
The key to the objectives is to respect the wishes of farmers, protect their rights and interests, and ensure grain production, Mr Xi said.