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Building a Beautiful and Harmonious Countryside that Is Desirable to Live and Work in

By Qiu Ping Source: Updated: 2023-08-28

The evolution from building a beautiful countryside to building a beautiful and harmonious countryside represents a further enrichment and expansion of the dimensions and goals of rural development.

This approach emphasizes both physical infrastructure and people-centered initiatives, outward appearance and inner strength of rural areas, and cultural-ethical and material advancement. It espouses harmony in interpersonal relations, in humanity's interactions with nature, and in urban-rural development. It will help promote a comprehensive improvement in rural areas, both inside and out.

We need to steadily develop the necessary hardware for ensuring a modern standard of living in rural areas. Although rural living conditions have vastly improved, they still fall considerably short of rural residents' aspirations for a better life. At its 20th National Congress, the CPC set “ensuring modern standards of living in rural areas” as one of China's overall development objectives for 2035.

To accomplish this goal, we will steadily and prudently carry out rural development initiatives and develop rural infrastructure and public services in a well-planned and coordinated way. We will develop modern protected agriculture and build storage and cold-chain logistics facilities for agricultural products. We will continue to improve rural water, electricity, road, gas, housing, and communications infrastructure and upgrade rural living environments.

We will also make concerted efforts to ensure that public services are inclusive, meet essential needs, and guarantee basic living standards for people in difficulty, and prioritize projects that both create convenience and promote production. These efforts will allow rural residents to enjoy modern standards of living within their own communities.

It is important to establish bottom-up and participatory implementation mechanisms for rural development. We must listen to the opinions of rural residents on what to develop and how and guide their participation throughout the process. We must not abolish or merge villages or expand communities if it goes against the wishes of local residents.

An ethos of kindness, harmony, and peace should also be fostered in rural areas. Rural development should focus not only on “hardware” such as infrastructure and public services but also on “software,” including civic ethos and virtues.

Throughout history, Chinese people in rural areas have embraced the concept of harmony and recognized the importance of appropriate timing and suitability in agriculture, kindness to others and harmony in everyday life, and concordance between village housing and the surrounding landscape in various seasons.

We should integrate the best elements of traditional Chinese culture with rural development, governance, and cultural-ethical advancement. Adhering to the concept of harmony throughout, we should strive to provide nourishment for people's minds, cultivate moral virtue, and foster unity, ensuring a benevolent, stable, and peaceful atmosphere in our countryside.