A New Day in Ru­ral China

Re­vi­tal­iza­tion ef­forts in ru­ral ar­eas must main­tain con­ti­nu­ity of ru­ral so­ci­ety and en­hance ru­ral val­ues. They must in­spire ru­ral res­i­dents to ad­just their life­styles and pro­duc­tion modes to merge with the devel­op­ment of mod­ern so­ci­ety.

China Pictorial (English) - - Front Page - Text by Lu Yi­long

Af­ter four decades of re­form and open­ing up, China’s ru­ral ar­eas have un­der­gone tremen­dous changes. In the past, huge num­bers of ru­ral Chi­nese res­i­dents strug­gled just to meet food and cloth­ing needs, but now the ma­jor­ity of ru­ral ar­eas have nearly achieved sta­tus as mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­eties. Per capita an­nual dis­pos­able in­come of China’s ru­ral res­i­dents in­creased from 134 yuan in 1978 to 13,432 yuan in 2017, mul­ti­ply­ing by over 100 in just 40 years.

Nev­er­the­less, China’s ru­ral ar­eas still face some dif­fi­cul­ties on the long road to mod­ern­iza­tion. Poverty re­mains a prob­lem. De­spite the im­pres­sive over­all devel­op­ment of ru­ral China, re­gional im­bal­ances con­tinue to glare across the coun­try’s vast ru­ral ar­eas, and some re­mote moun­tain­ous ar­eas with harsh nat­u­ral con­di­tions are still plagued by poverty. Fur­ther­more, pop­u­la­tion mi­gra­tion has re­sulted in the “hol­low­ing out” of ru­ral ar­eas. Many work­ing- age ru­ral res­i­dents ven­ture to cities seek­ing em­ploy­ment as mi­grant work­ers, leav­ing only the el­derly and chil­dren be­hind in the vil­lages.

These prob­lems ev­i­dence that ru­ral devel­op­ment still has a long way to go to truly achieve so­cial­ist mod­ern­iza­tion with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. In this con­text, China in­tro­duced a new ru­ral vi­tal­iza­tion strat­egy with an eye on de­vel­op­ing ru­ral ar­eas with thriv­ing busi­nesses, pleas­ant liv­ing en­vi­ron­ments, strong so­cial eti­quette and ci­vil­ity, ef­fec­tive gov­er­nance, wide­spread pros­per­ity and ac­cel­er­ated agri­cul­tural and ru­ral mod­ern­iza­tion.

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