On January 1, 1982, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) issued the first No. 1 Document on the issue of agriculture, rural areas and farmers, summarizing the rapid spread of rural reform. The document makes clear that the system of fixed output quotas for individual households, work contracted to households and the all-round responsibility system all belong to the socialist production responsibility system and are part of the socialist agricultural economy. Called the "five No. 1 Documents," this No. 1 Document and the four consecutive ones issued later by the CPC Central Committee have played a very important role in China's rural reform.
In January 1983, the second No. 1 Document, entitled "Some Questions Concerning Current Rural Economic Policy," was issued. It explains, in theory, that the household contract responsibility system with remuneration linked to output is a "great creation of Chinese farmers under the leadership of the CPC and a new development of Marxist theory in combination with Chinese practice."
On January 1, 1984, the CPC Central Committee released the Circular on Rural Work During 1984, known as the third No. 1 Document. The document stresses continuous efforts to stabilize and improve the rural contract responsibility system with remuneration linked to output, stipulating that the land contract period should be longer than 15 years. As for the projects with long productive cycles and development projects, the contract period should be even longer.
In January 1985, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council jointly issued Ten Policies for Further Invigorating the Rural Economy, or the fourth No. 1 Document. The document abolishes the system of state monopolized and prescribed purchase of farm produce and adopts a new policy of planned and contracted purchase by the state of a few important products such as grain and cotton.
On January 1, 1986, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council released Plans for Rural Work During 1986, or the fifth No. 1 Document. The document confirms that the policy of rural reform is correct and should be implemented continuously.
In January 2004, in view of the situation that the per-capita net income of farmers had increased slowly, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued Opinions Concerning Some Policies on Promoting the Increase of Farmers' Incomes, or the sixth No. 1 Document since reform and opening-up.
On January 30, 2005, Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Policies to Strengthen the Rural Work and Improve the Overall Production Capacity of Agriculture, or the seventh No. 1 Document, was released. The document stresses that the effectual policies should be stable, perfected and strengthened. It emphasizes that Party committees and governments at all levels should be fully aware of the importance of strengthening construction of agricultural infrastructure, speeding up advancement of agricultural science and technology and improving the overall production capacity of agriculture.
In February 2006, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued Several Opinions Concerning Promoting Construction of a New Socialist Countryside. The No. 1 Document of 2006 noted that the historic task of building a new socialist countryside put forward at the Fifth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee would achieve remarkable progress in the year.
On January 29, 2007, Several Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Vigorously Developing Modern Agriculture and Steadily Promoting the Construction of a New Socialist Countryside was released, being the ninth No. 1 Document since reform and opening-up. The document stipulates that developing modern agriculture should be a top priority in building a new socialist countryside. Modern equipment, modern science and technology, modern industrial systems, modern management and modern development ideas shall be used to promote agricultural development in order to improve the quality, economic returns and competitiveness of agriculture.