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NEWS//A better life in rural China

NEWS//A better life in rural China

China has committed itself to bolstering the economy of its rural areas by improving its agricultural output and by encouraging growth of industry in rural areas.

At a national meeting on rural industry revitalization (July 2019) where this plan was approved, Yu Xinrong, vice agriculture and rural affairs minister, said, "The boom of industries in rural areas is fundamental to rural vitalization."

China is also encouraging locating online commerce centers in rural areas. "According to the Ministry of Commerce, China's online retail volume in rural areas topped 1.24 trillion yuan in 2017, up 39.1 percent year on year. Over 9.8 million online shops were based in villages by the end of 2017, up 20.7 percent year on year, creating over 28 million jobs” (China.org).

China is urging financial institutions to promote rural industries through their lending practices. Vocational schools are to provide more opportunities for students in rural areas to learn improved farming techniques.

Some, however, fear that the expansion of industry into rural areas will come at a high environmental cost.

  • The Journal of Environmental Management reported in 2008 that "water pollution from small rural industries is a serious problem throughout China. Over half of all river sections monitored for water quality are rated as being unsafe for human contact…."

  • The Borgen Project reports, "Two-thirds of China’s rural population relies on tainted water. Water pollution in China is such a problem that there could be 'catastrophic consequences for future generations,' according to the World Bank."

 

Sources: Journal of Environmental ManagementUnderstanding society, China.org01, China.org02, Factsanddetails.com, The Borgen Project