Talent is key to revitalizing China’s rural areas, officials said at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office on Feb 6.
On Feb 4, the central government released its “No 1 central document” of 2018－the indicator of policy priorities for the year. The policy statement this year features a strategy that aims to revitalize China’s vast rural regions.
Wei Zaiping, Party chief of Meitan county, Guizhou province, said regions could achieve better and faster development with expert personnel, such as those in East China.
“The lack of talent is hampering the development of rural regions, which in turn exacerbates brain drain,” he said.
Wei cited the shortage of marketing talent as an example. “Holiday resorts were built around picturesque tea plantations. But because of poor marketing and management the guest rooms are hard to book during holidays and are forgotten on other days,” he said.
To make the countryside appealing to talent, Wei said lucrative industries should be fostered within the village. In addition, he stressed the importance of a good environment and adequate infrastructure in the rural regions, including running water, electricity, telecommunications, housing, education, healthcare and roads.
“With these, living conditions will improve and people will be willing to go back to villages,” he said.
Xiang Lemin, Party chief of Deqing county in relatively prosperous Zhejiang province－who also attended the forum－echoed Wei’s observations and said their practice of integrating public services in urban and rural areas has reaped real rewards.
“Now residents in rural areas in Deqing can also access public transportation, and their children go to school by school bus,” he said. “Why wouldn’t people come if life in the countryside is as convenient as that in cities?”
But both Wei and Xiang said it is people with expertise who could facilitate industrial development in the countryside that are in great demand.
“We do not encourage everyone to go back to the countryside,” Wei said. “The core of rural revitalization is to let rural villagers enjoy quality systems, facilities and culture.”