Journalist: I would like to ask why it is necessary to specially set forth the policy of building a new socialist countryside. What is the relationship between the policy of building a new socialist countryside and the previous and consistent policies of the central authorities towards rural areas?
Premier Wen Jiabao: The issues concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers are fundamental ones bearing on the overall interests of China’s modernization drive. To answer this question, I would like to share with you the three deep considerations of us in Setting up the policy of building a new socialist countryside.
To build a new socialist countryside, we mean to figure the work in agricultural and rural work more prominently in our agenda of modernization. And also, we believe that we need to introduce a policy to make industries nurturing the development of agriculture, and make cities supporting the development of rural areas.
But this move will be able to facilitate our efforts to build a society of moderate prosoperoty in the countryside and modernize China’s agricultural sector. This is a major significant step taking in the overall modernization of the country. I would also like to say that we need to strengthen the development of the countryside and agriculture. This is a key and very significant step because if we can properly take this step, it will go a long way towards boosting domestic demand and consumption in the country. And that will certainly build China’s economy and society on a more solid grouned.
In modernizing China’s agriculture sector, we need to start with the improvement of modern agricultural capacity as well as overall agricultural capacity. The very reason why we focus on the development of infrastructure and all kinds of social programmes in China’s countryside is to improve living and producting conditions of Chinese farmer’s.
No. 3 To build a new socialist countryside, we must adhere to the following two basic principles. No.1, we need to respect the democratic rights of the farmers, especially their rights to independently farm in their contracted land. we need to respect the will of the people in rural areas. And we need to refrain from coercion or using administrative means. No.2, we need to deliver tragible benefits to farmers. We need to make a reality of our goal of improving farmers’ material and cultural existence. And we need to use this as a yardstick to measure our progress and performance. We need to place emphasis on practical results rather than go in for formalism.