Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits national political advisors from the sectors of agriculture and welfare and social security, who are attending the fifth session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), in Beijing, capital of China, March 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- China's annual "two sessions" of the top legislature and political advisory body provide a good occasion to get a glimpse of the country's policy directions, as Chinese leaders join lawmakers and political advisors in deliberating and discussing documents and issues of national importance.
When President Xi Jinping sat down on Sunday with national political advisors from the sectors of agriculture and welfare and social security in a joint group meeting, China observers had no difficulty identifying two buzzwords of Chinese politics in the past year -- "rural revitalization" and "common prosperity."
The Communist Party of China (CPC) sees the ultimate achievement of common prosperity as part of the essence of socialism. After China eradicated absolute poverty and finished building a "moderately prosperous society in all respects" in 2021, the drive to achieve the ultimate goal has picked up pace, with "common prosperity" repeatedly stressed at high-profile political meetings.
"The measurement for moderate prosperity lies in the rural areas," Xi often told Chinese officials when the country was in pursuit of the goal of eliminating poverty, drawing attention to the development of China's vast countryside and the welfare of its hundreds of millions of rural residents.
After moderate prosperity was achieved, the importance of rural areas has not diminished. The depth, width and difficulty in promoting rural revitalization are no less than the anti-poverty fight, and continuous efforts must be made from the new starting point to achieve more notable and substantial progress in promoting common prosperity for all, Xi said.
At Sunday's meeting, Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, laid down new requirements for advancing rural revitalization.
CHINESE RICE FOR CHINESE PEOPLE
In promoting rural revitalization, the supply of major agricultural products, the supply of grain in particular, must be secured as the top priority, and upgrading the comprehensive capacity for agricultural production must be placed in an even more prominent position, Xi stressed, urging against slacking off on the food security issue.
"Despite China's industrialization, food supply should never be considered an insignificant issue, and we cannot rely solely on the international market to solve it," Xi said.
China should be well-prepared, remain vigilant on food security, and adhere to the principle of self-sufficiency based on domestic grain production, guaranteed production capacity, moderate food imports and technological support, he said.
Calling for a "Greater Food" approach, Xi said the country should proactively advance the supply-side structural reform in agriculture, employ multiple means to develop food resources in all respects and produce a rich variety of food items so that it can achieve food supply-and-demand balance and better meet the increasingly diverse food consumption needs of the people.
LOOKING BEYOND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
In advancing rural revitalization, China should not just focus on economic development, Xi said.
"We must also make efforts to build stronger primary-level Party organizations in rural areas, and attach high importance to raising farmers' intellectual and moral standards. We must pay special attention to promoting the rule of law in rural areas, improve rural governance, and enhance self-governance by villagers," he said.
Xi called for efforts to improve the regularized mechanism for combating organized crime and rooting out local gangs in rural areas, and continuously crack down on organized and clan criminals.
"We should punish, in accordance with law, pornography, gambling, and drug-related crimes and illegal and criminal offenses against women and children in rural areas," he added.
"We should shore up weak links in social welfare in rural areas, and give particular attention and care to disadvantaged groups such as elderly people and children, especially elderly people, children, and women left behind in rural areas," Xi noted. ■