A Closer Look at the Progress of China’s Rural Revitalization

China’s rural revitalization policies exemplify the nation’s commitment to fostering prosperity and sustainability in its countryside. From infrastructure development to healthcare and digitalization, these policies aim to ensure that rural areas play a vital role in the nation’s socio-economic progress. This article summarizes the policy implementation surrounding rural revitalization in 2022 and 2023 thus far.

Landscape of terraced rice fields in Shexiang Ancient Town of Dafang county, Bijie city, southwest China's Guizhou province, 24 July 2018.

Rural revitalization stands as a paramount priority in China’s social and economic progress. Initially introduced by President Xi Jinping in the 19th Party Congress report, this agenda gained further prominence in the 20th Party Congress Report, where President Xi underscored that the most formidable challenge in the comprehensive development of a modern socialist nation continues to reside in the rural areas. With a focus on strengthening agricultural science, technology, infrastructure, and financial services, rural revitalization plays a pivotal role in fostering common prosperity and balanced societal growth. Here, we present a condensed overview of key policy highlights from the recent Social Impact Initiative Reports by AmCham China, shedding light on China’s comprehensive rural revitalization efforts.

Work Plan for Expanding Investments in Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Construction

Policy Highlights: In September 2022, the State Council approved the “Work Plan for Expanding Current Investments in Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Construction.” This plan focuses on upgrading agricultural and rural infrastructure to stimulate effective investments, stabilize the economy, and ensure food supplies. The plan targets the construction and improvement of water conservancy facilities, agricultural water conservancy, modern agricultural infrastructure, and storage and preservation cold-chain logistics facilities. It promotes innovative mechanisms for investment and financing, encouraging private sector participation, and fostering diversified funding sources.

Implementation Opinions on Supporting the Employment and Entrepreneurship of Migrant Workers

Policy Highlights: The “Implementation Opinions on Further Supporting the Employment and Entrepreneurship of Migrant Workers” seeks to bolster the employment and entrepreneurship of rural migrant workers, particularly in construction, manufacturing, and service industries. It encourages orderly migration, offers subsidies for employment and entrepreneurship services, promotes rural industries in counties, strengthens employment services, and implements campaigns to prevent a return to poverty.

Implementation Measures for Nutrition Improvement Program for Rural Compulsory Education Students

Policy Highlights: The initiative “Implementation Measures for the Nutrition Improvement Program for Rural Compulsory Education Students,” introduced in November 2022, addresses the nutritional needs of rural students. The measures aim to ensure food safety, standardized fund utilization, and high-quality food supply. The program emphasizes food safety management, strengthening food safety systems, and promoting safe and nutritious meals for students.

“Implementation Plan for the ‘Raindrop Program+’ Employment Promotion Campaign”

Policy Highlights: In The “Raindrop Program+” issued in January 2023, expands its scope to support families escaping poverty and those monitored to prevent a return to poverty. This vocational skill program focuses on rural employment assistance, emphasizing education and employment, especially in key rural revitalization counties. It aims to prevent large-scale return to poverty and promote employment, skill development, and entrepreneurship.

Opinions on Promoting Key Work of Rural Revitalization in 2023

Policy Highlights: On February 13, 2023, the Xinhua News Agency was authorized to release the No. 1 Central Document, the “Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Comprehensively Promoting the Key Work of Rural Revitalization in 2023” offers a comprehensive framework for rural revitalization. It prioritizes food security, rural infrastructure, agricultural development, income enhancement, habitable rural areas, governance, and policy innovation. This document underscores the importance of balancing urban-rural development and promoting green agriculture.

Opinions on Reforms for Rural Medical and Healthcare System

Policy Highlights: Released on February 23, 2023, the “Opinions on Further Deepening Reforms to Promote the Healthy Development of the Rural Medical and Healthcare System” aims to strengthen rural healthcare. These reforms include optimizing medical resource allocation, building comprehensive rural medical and healthcare service systems, integrating medical treatment with disease prevention, and advancing information technology in rural healthcare.

Implementation Opinions on Comprehensive Rural Revitalization

Policy Highlights: Also released in February 2023, this document emphasizes preventing a large-scale return to poverty and promoting rural revitalization in key counties. It focuses on economic development, the construction of habitable and beautiful villages, consolidation of poverty alleviation achievements, and support for rural talent. The plan aims to drive rural economic growth, improve living conditions, and promote the sustainable development of rural areas.

Circular on Rural Energy Revolution

Policy Highlights: On March 15, 2023, the National Energy Administration, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and National Rural Revitalization Administration issued the “Circular on Mobilizing Pilot County Construction for Rural Energy Revolution” underscores the importance of the energy industry in rural revitalization. It promotes the development of renewable energy for power generation, including wind and solar power. The circular also encourages the utilization of biomass power and emphasizes energy security and environmental sustainability.

Key Tasks for the Banking and Insurance Industry

Policy Highlights: In April 2023, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission issued the “Notice on Key Tasks for the Banking and Insurance Industry in Facilitating Comprehensive Rural Revitalization in 2023” outlines specific objectives for the banking and insurance sector. It emphasizes financial support for agriculture, industrial revitalization, infrastructure construction, and increasing farmers’ income. The document also highlights the development of rural digitalization.

Key Points of Digital Village Development Work in 2023

Policy Highlights: Also in April 2023, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the National Rural Revitalization Administration jointly issued the “Key Points of Digital Village Development Work in 2023” focuses on rural digitalization to drive the modernization of agriculture and rural areas. This includes improving rural network infrastructure, establishing a comprehensive rural medical and healthcare service system, advancing disease prevention, and enhancing the use of digital technology in agriculture.

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This article is from the AmCham China Quarterly Magazine (Issue 3, 2023). To access the entire publication for free, sign up on our member portal here.