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Plowing Ahead
Cover Stories Series 2013> Plowing Ahead
UPDATED: January 14, 2013 NO. 3 JANUARY 17, 2013
For the Sake of Sannong

Sannong is a term often used in China today to collectively refer to agriculture, farmers and rural areas. As a traditionally agrarian state with an extra-large percentage of rural population, issues related to Sannong are deemed of vital importance to China's economic prosperity and social stability.

With the reform and opening-up policies adopted during the late 1970s, special emphasis has been laid on addressing the trio of issues. Not only have a wide array of relevant policies or measures been carried out, but the authorities have also launched regular work mechanisms, such as the annual Central Rural Work Conference, to identify hidden challenges and map out strategies and tasks necessary to overcome them in the days ahead.

At the most recent rural work conference late last December, some major tasks were again laid down for the New Year. These include building up intensive agronomy in the country, further raising the average income level of farming households, and stepping up budgetary spending on public utilities and welfare services in rural areas.

These tasks also correspond to the blueprint laid out by Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the 17th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, last November. In his report to the landmark 18th CPC National Congress, the outgoing Party chief envisioned a much brighter and more prosperous landscape for China's agriculture, the countryside, as well as farmers in 2020, in the run-up to the centennial anniversary of the founding of the CPC the following year.

A little over six decades ago, the CPC defeated the Kuomintang and founded New China, largely relying on the popular support of the broad public, particularly from Chinese farmers. Three decades later, the CPC once again summoned enthusiastic support by initiating reforms in agriculture. Another 30 years or so later, the CPC has, for the sake of Sannong, embarked on a new campaign toward its decades-long goal. This could be seen as a top priority that must be fulfilled by all measures, as the ruling Party firmly understands what it means for China's agriculture—one of the nation's key economic lifelines—as well as the lives of a majority of its citizens at the basic level.

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