From The Southern Weekend, Summarized by Xiangfeng Yang, via Chinaelections.org:
In the largest cadre training program since the opening-up policy (gaige kaifang), more than 5,000 county officials (xianguang) will be trained session by session by the end of January in five CPC party schools, i.e. the Central party School and National School of Administration in Beijing, the Pudong Cadre School (gangbu xueyuan) in Shanghai, the Yan’an Cadre School in Sha’anxi province and the Jingangshan Cadre School in Jianxi province. The program, beginning in April, 2005 with the theme on “Building A Socialist New Countryside,” draws its trainees from the counties across the country as well as Xinjiang Production Corps. These officials are mostly Party secretaries and administrative chiefs of their counties, and for many of them, it is the first time to enter the elite official training schools. The practice is now expected to repeat every five years.
The idea of launching such an educational campaign was initiated by the top leadership. On his visit to the Yan’an Cadre School during the Spring Festival in 2006, CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao said that a training session for provincial and ministerial leadership was not enough and should expand to the county level because the county officials were “at the forefront of building a socialist countryside.” With conflicts and social tension in the vast rural area so often heard and reported and rural economy increasingly important for sustaining China’s economic growth, rural governance has become the priority of all priorities. Constructing a harmonious society is the response. “Without harmony in the countryside, there will be no harmony in the society on the whole,’ Hu said. [Full Text]