REPORT TOPIC: Rural Development and Three Rural Problem in China; To what extent China Resources Hope Town Project Helps to Solve Three Rural Problems in Guang Xi?
Currently, around 900 million of China’s population, which account for around 70% of China’s total population and 22% of world population lives on around 2 billion mu (1 mu = 1/15 of a hectare) cultivable land accounting for 7% of world total cultivable land, and on average a peasant household survives on 1.5 mu of land (Zhang et. Al. 2001: 51). The challenge from the agrarian has been a major concern to the Chinese government ever since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). As agriculture has been the mainstay of the Chinese economy, around 70% of China’s population is rural population, the stability of China greatly depends on the stability of these 70% rural population. Thus, the agriculture policy reforms and rural development policy measures had great socio-economic impact to rural China. This paper is to investigate the relation between the China Rural development policy and the Three Rural problems. Then focus on the China Resources Hope Town Project in resolving the Three Rural problem in Guang Xi. The paper organized as follow, section one will be the brief outline of China Rural development policy since 1978 and its linkages to the Three Rural Problem. Second section will be an investigation of current Three Rural situation. Third section introduces the China Resources Corporate Social responsibility program and the Hope Town Projects in Guang Xi and evaluate how successful the project in solving the Guang Xi’s Three Rural problem. Section Four will concludes the paper. Section I: Review of China Rural Development Policy since 1978 and the “Three Rural” Problem The “Three Rural” problem was first formally brought to the senior party officials by Li Changpin, Party Secretary of the Qipan Village in Jianli County of Hubei Province wrote in a letter to the Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji that the “peasants are in the abyss of misery, they are living in abject poverty and are on the brink.” This statement initiated a debate and
investigation on the “Three Rural” problems that hitherto had not yet caught the attention of
general populace (Chen et. Al. 2004:6). The “Three Rural” Problem or the “Three Nong Problem” is the largest problem in China; they are the Agriculture problem, Countryside problem and the Peasant problem. These three problems are dependent to each other and we should handle these three problems as a whole but not separated. Before 1978, China’s economy was under a Communes system, the entire individual owned land was merged under a collective land ownership and all means of production became collective. The communes system eliminated private ownership and distort all the willingness and eagerness of peasants to cultivate land, this sown the seed for the later reform which bring the Household Responsibility System (HRS). Since collectivization decreased grain output and caused agricultural disaster, in order to encourage economic growth in the rural areas, the government initiated reforms to de-collectivize of agriculture and gave the peasants greater autonomy in managing their production. The reform carried out by first removing people’s communes, separate the communes’ political and social function, set up township level people’s government to exercise the functions of rural grass-roots governance replacing the people’s commune, and at the same time established the rural-township economic corporation; transformed production teams to villages and set up village committees; turned production teams into the agricultural cooperative organizations with independent accounting and exclusive responsibility. The HRS, which intends to increase grain output and peasants’ income was also adopted. By adapting the HRS, the basic unit of rural taxation from the collective shifted to individual household, households became...
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