new socialist countryside

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The Fat Lady Sings in China’s Opera of Reform

In the Times, Rosemary Righter writes about the recent reforms in land ownership and puts them in the context of the recent economic slowdown: The communist leadership has been tiptoeing towards more enlightened policies for...

China Vows to Facilitate Stable Development of Agriculture, Sustained Income Growth for Farmers – Xinhua

Xinhua reports on the two-day rural work conference that ended yesterday: China concluded the annual central rural work conference on Sunday with a pledge to enhance rural infrastructure construction, promote stable development of agriculture and facilitate a sustained income growth for farmers next year. The pledge should be carried out in 2008 and a certain […]

Foreign Banks Enter Fresh Fields in China – Jamil Anderlini

From The Financial Times: Citibank , Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia are all seeking to follow the lead of HSBC , which in August secured a licence to set up a rural bank branch in the Chinese hinterland. Allowing foreign banks to offer their services to more than 750m Chinese peasant farmers is […]

Rural China: Too little, too late – Swati Lodh Kundu

From Asia Times Online: Using the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in March as its stage, the ruling Chinese Communist Party with much fanfare launched a package of rural policies with the expressed aim of building a “new socialist countryside”. This marks a shift of “epoch-making significance” if one believes the rhetoric […]

Bitter harvest for China’s rural majority – Rowan Callick

From the Australian (link) The Chinese rice paddy embodies the country’s cultural heartland, much like the bush does in Australia. But unlike Australia’s population – one of the world’s most heavily urban – two of every three Chinese still live in rural areas. The opening week of China’s annual parliamentary session has demonstrated the “fourth […]

China’s ‘New Deal’ faces big challenges – Elaine Kurtenbach

From AP, via seattle pi.com (link): Communist leaders have launched China’s most ambitious initiative in decades, promising billions of dollars in social spending and farm aid to help the 800 million people in its neglected countryside catch up with its booming cities. The blueprint unveiled at this week’s parliament meeting echoes President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s […]

China’s “New Socialist Countryside” – Stephen Green

From The Business Week (link): Standard Chartered Senior Economist Stephen Green explores how China should proceed to raise rural residents out of a cycle of poverty The rest of the world hasn’t really taken notice yet, but in recent months, there has been a marked shift in the domestic political priorities of official Beijing. During […]

China keeps them down on the farm – Philip Bowring

From the International Herald Tribune (link): Necessity as well as good sense lies behind China’s decision in its latest five year plan, revealed at the National People’s Congress, to play down numerical growth goals and target instead the wealth gap and social and environmental issues. But the new goals look likely to be out of […]

China goes back to the land – Kent Ewing

From Asia Times (link): When Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao presented his third Government Work Report this week to the National People’s Congress (NPC), there was plenty to boast about. With China’s economy racing along at 9.9% growth last year and surpassing Britain as the fourth-largest economy in the world, the premier clearly enjoyed basking in […]

Leaders tackle China’s great divide – Jonathan Watts

From the Guardian (link); China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, yesterday promised an extra 42bn yuan (¬£3bn) in spending for poor rural areas, in a key policy speech aimed at addressing the strains that have emerged in the world’s fastest growing yet most unbalanced large-scale economy. Amid growing unrest in the provinces, Mr Wen said the […]

China tries to alleviate city-rural inequality – Jim Yardley

From the New York Times, via the International Herald Tribune (link): Faced with rising inequality and unrest in the countryside, the Chinese government has formally announced major initiatives to expand health, education and welfare benefits for farmers but left unresolved the fundamental issue of whether farmers should be allowed to buy or sell their land. […]

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