President stresses importance of speeding up modernization of agriculture at meeting
President Xi Jinping has urged continuous efforts to further promote rural vitalization after the country achieves its poverty reduction goal.
Both history and reality show that rural work is fundamental to national stability, and the most arduous task for national rejuvenation still lies in rural work, Xi said at the two-day central rural work conference, which concluded on Tuesday. The meeting outlined the country's rural development plans for the coming year.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that the whole Party should attach great importance to speeding up the modernization of agriculture and rural areas.
He urged all-out efforts of the Party and society to pursue rural vitalization, high-quality growth of agriculture, a comfortable life in rural areas and the prosperity of rural people.
Since the establishment of the CPC, the Party has kept in mind its mission of seeking happiness for farmers, Xi said, adding that rural reform also took the lead in the country's reform and opening-up, which started over four decades ago.
Since the Party's 18th National Congress, the CPC has made rural work its top priority and launched the largest-ever poverty reduction campaign in human history, Xi said.
The poverty alleviation measures have brought about historic changes in rural areas, with the doubling of farmers' annual incomes compared with 2010, and the final resolution of the problem of absolute poverty that has existed for thousands of years in China, he added.
From a strategic perspective, only by achieving rural vitalization will the dream of national rejuvenation be fulfilled, Xi said, adding that there is great potential in rural areas to further expand domestic demand.
He called for improvements to the poverty alleviation system to prevent rural people from falling back into poverty, through measures such as promoting employment and improving infrastructure and public services.
The favorable policies for the once poverty-stricken counties will be consistent for at least five years in order to ensure that the supportive measures can be further implemented, Xi said.
He stressed the importance of food security and said that Party committees at all levels must shoulder their responsibilities in this regard.
There should be further independent development of agricultural technology, Xi said. Farmers should be encouraged to plant crops with measures such as stabilizing subsidies for crop planting, improving the policy of the minimum price for crop purchases and increasing the coverage of agricultural insurance, he added.
Xi put forward seven major measures to promote rural vitalization, namely developing industries in rural areas, promoting science and knowledge, protecting the rural environment, deepening reform, improving infrastructure, integrating rural and urban development and strengthening Party building in rural areas.
Premier Li Keqiang, who chaired the meeting, said that Xi's important speech is the guide for the country's rural work in the new era.
Related departments should uphold Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, make rural development their top priority, promote rural vitalization, speed up rural modernization, and implement the measures of the CPC Central Committee, Li said.