From Reuters, via The International Herald Tribune:
China has long struggled to channel lending to rural China, from which mainstream banks have largely retreated.
But now that the big city-oriented state banks have been more or less nursed back to health, the Communist Party is switching gears and backing an array of initiatives to build a system of rural finance that can stimulate jobs and growth.
The role of financial institutions in building a “new socialist countryside,” with the aim of narrowing an alarming income gap between town and country, will feature prominently during next month’s annual session of Parliament. [Full Text]