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China's 'No. 1 Document' to continue seeking rural vitalization
A villager carries a basket of chrysanthemums at a planting base in Huai'an, Jiangsu province, China November 12, 2017. Photo: Reuters
China wants to modernise its farm sector by 2035 as part of a plan to boost rural incomes and living standards, according to a government policy statement released on Sunday.
The statement called for significant progress in rural rejuvenation by 2020, agricultural modernisation by 2035 and a “strong agriculture sector and full realization of farmers’ wealth” by 2050.
“Without the modernization of agriculture there is no national modernization,” said the government’s first policy statement of the year.
The statement published by state news agency Xinhua late on Sunday is called the Number One document and sets out Beijing’s priorities for the year.
There is quite a lot of work to be accomplished in Chinese villages, where opportunities for development have arisen as the country enters a new era, said the document jointly released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and State Council.
The strategy of rural vitalization was first proposed as one of the major aspects of developing a modernized economy in a report delivered to the 19th National Congress of the CPC.
Local governments have been required to specify their plans according to the local reality, especially for the period from 2018 to 2022, and to coordinate policy-making in relevant spheres.
It also reiterated recent efforts to better protect water and soil, strengthen management of resources and said China will deepen land reforms, allowing for more transfer of land.
China is trying to improve financing in rural areas to support modernization. The document said Beijing would guarantee “strategic financial input” into the revitalization, with public finance prioritizing rural areas.
It also wants to improve China’s agricultural trade policy system and support large grain importers and agribusinesses.
This is the 15th year in a row that the "No. 1 central document" has been devoted to agriculture, farmers and rural areas.
The "No. 1 central document" is the name traditionally given to the first policy statement released by the central authorities of the year, and is seen as an indicator of policy priorities.

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