The Eighth Plenum of the 13th CPC Central Committee
The necessity of unswervingly deepening rural reforms and promoting an all-round economic development in the countryside was stressed at the Eighth Plenary Session of the 13th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The session was held in Beijing November 25-29 and presided over by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
A communique released at the end of the session expounded the importance of agriculture to China and pointed out that agriculture is the foundation of economic development, social stability and self-reliance of the country. There would be no stability and all-round progress in the entire society without the stability and all-round progress in the rural areas. The country cannot enable the citizens to live comfortably without a better living standard for the farmers. And modernization of the overall national economy cannot be achieved if the country fails to attain agricultural modernization.
The plenary session examined and approved the Decision of the CPC Central Committee on Further Strengthening Agriculture and Work in Rural Areas.
The document contains 10 parts:
- The achievements of agriculture and the work in the rural areas in the 1980s and the main tasks for the 1990s;
- Stabilizing and improving the Party's basic policies for the rural areas and continuing to deepen rural reforms;
- Continuing to readjust the rural production structure to promote an all-round growth of the rural economy;
- Stepping up comprehensive harnessing of large rivers and lakes and carrying on extensive construction of irrigation and water conservancy facilities;
- Increasing agricultural investment by a big margin and speeding up the development of the industries producing farmuse products;
- Doing a good job of helping the poor areas and coordinating regional development for common prosperity;
- Making earnest efforts to strengthen the building of grassroots organizations in the rural areas;
- Continuing to carry on the socialist ideological education to promote sound social ethics, democracy and legal system in the rural areas; and
- Enhancing the Party's leadership over the rural work.
According to the communique, the plenary session fully affirmed the Party's basic policies for the countryside formulated since the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee held at the end of 1978, and gave a high appraisal of the tremendous achievements in China's rural reform and construction during the 1980s.
It said that the great reform in China's countryside is a great creation of the Chinese Communists with Deng Xiaoping as their representative made by integrating the basic principles of Marxism with the specific conditions in China. The reform has profoundly enriched the Party's theories and practice in building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The communique said that under the leadership of the Party, the broad masses of cadres and the people, by emancipating their mind, seeking truth from facts, exploring new ways boldly and working hard, have deepened the rural reform step by step, vitalized the rural economy in an all-round way, and brought about remarkable changes in the countryside.
It said that the success in the rural reform has basically solved the problem of feeding and clothing a population of 1.1 billion and provided material conditions and valuable experience for urban reform and for social stability, thus making historic contributions to resolving China's principal contradiction at the present stage, that is, the contradiction between the daily increasing material and cultural demands of the people and the backward social production.
The material and technological foundation of China's agriculture is still comparatively weak despite its considerable development. The economic and social development in the rural areas is still uneven. There are problems that need a prompt solution.
It called for adopting practical and effective measures to consolidate the agricultural foundation, to achieve an all-round fulfilment of the targets and tasks for agricultural development, set in the 10-Year Programme (1991-2000) and the Eighth Five-Year Plan (1991-1995), and to gradually raise the living standards of the broad masses of peasants from having adequate food and clothing to living a fairly comfortable life.
The plenary session stressed the necessity of maintaining and stabilizing for a long period of time a series of basic rural policies of the Party like the responsibility system mainly in the form of the household-based contract system with remuneration linked to output, which are welcomed by the masses; continuouly improving the dual management system which combines unified management with independent contracted operation so as to energetically develop the rural socialized service system and gradually strengthen the collective sector of the rural economy; and leading the peasants towards common prosperity.
Meanwhile, the communique pointed out that diversified economy should be developed energeticaly while ensuring a steady growth in grain production.
It said that developing village and township enterprises is the indispensable way to achieve prosperity of the rural economy, increase the income of the countryside and promote the modernization of agriculture. It is necessary to give such enterprises energetic support and right guidance to ensure their healthy development.
The communique held that it is necessary to expand the infrastructure construction for agriculture, which is an important material and technological prerequisite for modernizing agriculture and keeping up the strength for further growth of agriculture.
The input in agriculture by the central and local governments, the collective and the farmers should be increased step by step. Efforts should be made to speed up the harnessing of major rivers and lakes and the construction of irrigation and water conservancy projects.
The communique said the policies of preferential investment and other protective measures should be introduced, and the technological level and production capacity of the industries producing farm products upgraded.
Meanwhile, it pointed out, close attention should be paid to implementing the strategy of developing agriculture through science, technology and education. Gradually shifting the development of agriculture towards scientific and technological advances and raising the quality of farmers.
The communique said, construction of infrastructure projects such as rural transportation, electricity supply and drinking-water for people and animals should be accelerated.
It stressed that efforts must be redoubled for the building of socialist ethics, democracy and the legal system in the rural areas so as to bring up a generation of new farmers with lofty ideals, moral integrity, good education and a sense of discipline.
In addition, enchancing socialist ideological education in rural areas is important for carrying out the Party's basic line and the various basic rural policies, strengthening the rural grassroots organizations with the Party branches as their core, increasing the socialist understanding of cadres and farmers, promoting the building up of material civilization and sound social ethics, and consolidating the socialist position in the rural areas.
It said that Party committees at all levels must pay close attention to education so as to bring about a new change in the rural areas.
The plenary session emphasized the necessity of enhancing and improving the Party's leadership over rural work.
The central committee and committees of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities should devote great energies to the work in rural areas.
The communique said prefectural and county Party committees should concentrate on rural work. They should coordinate the efforts from all sectors to give powerful support to agriculture. Effective measures should be taken to lighten the burden on farmers.
(NO. 49 DECEMBER 12, 1991, titled "CPC's Plenary Session Stresses Agriculture" )