Fri, 22 Oct 2021

What's high on Xi's agenda for rural affairs

Xinhua
17 Sep 2021, 19:30 GMT+10

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BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping made another trip to the rural areas during a recent inspection tour in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, as rural vitalization is in full swing throughout the country after it eradicated absolute poverty.

Xi believes that promoting rural vitalization on all fronts is "no easier than the anti-poverty battle." Therefore, he has been urging continuous hard work at the new starting point, placing grain production, rural industries and employment as well as ecological conservation high on the agenda during his rural inspections this year.

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SECURING PEOPLE'S "RICE BOWL"

While visiting Gaoxigou Village during his inspection tour to Shaanxi on Monday, Xi checked on the growth of autumn grain, such as millet and corn.

In the next few days, Chinese farmers are expected to usher in the year's harvest festival. At this time, the country's main autumn crops are already in the late stage of maturity, with grain in most parts of the country growing well and a significant increase in the area of high-yielding crops such as corn.

With less than 9 percent of the world's total arable land, China needs to feed nearly one-fifth of the world's population. A handful of wheat and a bowl of rice thus always mean a lot to the president.

"We must firmly seize the initiative in food security and step up grain production year by year," he said at the annual central rural work conference in late December last year.

Four months ago, when inspecting central China's Henan Province, he stopped by a wheat field to check on the growth of the crop, a major summer crop of the country, and called for efforts to achieve breakthroughs in cultivating high-quality seeds.

Despite unfavorable weather conditions, pests and diseases, China reaped a bumper summer harvest this year. The output of summer grain totaled 145.8 billion kg, reaching an all-time high. The country's grain output target for the year is above 650 million tonnes.

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EXPLORING GREEN DEVELOPMENT, LOCAL SPECIALTY

While in Shaanxi, Xi hailed Gaoxigou Village as a model of ecological conservation on the Loess Plateau. "Efforts should be made to integrate ecological governance with the development of distinctive local businesses, and explore a way to attain coordinated development between ecology and economy, and harmony between humans and nature," he said.

Emphasizing the idea of "lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets" on many occasions, Xi has stressed green development in rural production and life to achieve high-quality development in vitalizing rural areas.

While inspecting the city of Chengde in north China's Hebei Province last month, Xi called for a lifestyle that is civilized, healthy, green and environmentally friendly in rural areas. During his previous trip to Qinghai, he urged the province in northwest China to make itself into a supplier of green farm and animal products and become a leader in clean energy industry.

To secure the employment of rural residents, Xi underscored the significance of cultivating rural industries based on local advantages and market demand.

Rural China has great potential and can play an important role in fostering the country's new development paradigm of "dual circulation," which has a strategic basis on expanding domestic demand, he said.

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Emphasizing that the key to rural vitalization lies in developing industries that suit local conditions and benefit local people, he hailed the vigorous development of local industries in various forms and with different added value in multiple inspection trips.

From special farm produce such as fruits, herbal products and tea to local eateries like river-snail rice noodles, from special crafts such as embroidery and carpet knitting to culture-related businesses including eco-tourism and leisure agriculture, emerging local industries have offered many job opportunities to rural residents.

China's rural industries saw steady growth in the first half of the year, witnessing the emergence of 50 national modern agricultural industrial parks, 50 clusters of specialty industries and 298 towns with strong agricultural industries, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

"The rural areas should be built as good as urban areas. We must keep our resolve and make persistent efforts," Xi said.

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