China vows rural support amid crisis
China will plough ahead with tough measures to develop rural areas and agriculture in 2009 despite expectations that this year will witness the hardest challenges of the last decade, the central government said Sunday.
A global resource market slump, increasing public concern about food safety and a fast-diminishing labour pool for rural migrant workers are among the most critical issues facing the Chinese countryside, according to the document, which was discussed at an annual central work conference in December and released Sunday.
As the first policy document of the year, it was issued jointly by the State Council and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to highlight the significance of agriculture to the nation.
"The development of agriculture and rural areas in 2009 is of special significance," it said.