China Promotes New Rural Reform Package – China Confidential

From China Confidential blog (link):

The annual session of China’s rubber stamp parliament started Sunday, and a new reform plan for the troubled countryside was at the top of the agenda.

The plan, which aims to create “a socialist countryside,” is the centerpiece of China’s next five-year plan, which the so-called parliament–officially known as the National People’s Congress–is certain to approve.

The new policy aims to raise rural incomes through a combination of subsidies, tax cuts, debt relief for local governments and infrastructure spending.

Promising help for farmers, Premier Wen Jiabao told the gathering that China must strive to narrow the economic gap between its depressed rural and booming urban areas.

Will the government deliver on its promises? Most analysts are skeptical at best.

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