China vows to create a ‘new socialist countryside’ for millions of farmers – Jonathan Watts

From the Guardian (link):

Against a background of rising rural unrest, China yesterday unveiled ambitious plans to help the 800 million people living in the countryside catch up economically with people in the cities.

More rural investment and agricultural subsidies and improved social services are the main planks of a policy to create a “new socialist countryside”, which the president, Hu Jintao, says is a priority.

According to the World Bank, the policy is a significant shift away from the previous focus on economic development. Greater weight will be given to the redistribution of resources and a rebalancing of income.

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