OECD Rural Policy Reviews: China 2009

image of OECD Rural Policy Reviews: China 2009

With more than 700 million residents living in rural areas, China is still a predominantly rural country. But despite substantial improvements in standards of living, the Chinese countryside is largely lagging behind. This report analyses the key socio-economic forces at work in China's rural areas and discusses the current government strategy for rural development. It argues that in order to bridge rural-urban divides the current policy approach needs to go further in recognising rural-urban complementarities beyond agriculture and that food-security targets need to be balanced with wider rural development objectives.



Policy Assessment

With its most recent policy approach, the central government's broadens the scope of rural policy and calls for “Building a New Socialist Countryside” (NSC). Aiming to solve the “three rural” (or sannong) issues which concern agriculture, rural communities and farmers, it particularly targets agricultural productivity, land use, rural residents' income, local governance reforms and the delivery of rural public services. Starting with the reform period in 1978, China's policy for rural areas has been rapidly evolving towards a more market-based approach and involved a relaxation of agricultural controls and a less centralised production system called household production responsibility system (HPRS). Related reforms helped to promote economic diversification through rural enterprises and introduced a more autonomous rural governance system. 


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