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China to Boost Cultural Development in Rural Areas

The Chinese authorities have called for efforts to boost cultural development in rural areas, stressing it concerns the national endeavor to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.

A document jointly issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China ( CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, which was made public Sunday says boosting cultural development in the countryside is a major part of the national effort to create a harmonious society in the country.

It is "an effective way" to build a socialist new countryside and meet the needs of rural residents for spiritual and cultural products, and is of great importance to enhancing the Party's governance capabilities, promoting economic growth and social progress in rural areas, the document says.

The main problems hindering cultural development in the countryside lie in backward infrastructure facilities for cultural activities, insufficient cultural products and imparities in cultural development between urban and rural areas, it says.

As for the targets, it says that after five years of efforts, cultural infrastructure facilities will become comparatively complete and public cultural services will be enhanced, with the rural cultural work system straightened out and existing cultural resources effectively used.

The problem that farmers find it difficult to have books to read, stage shows, films and TV programs to watch and radio programs to listen to will be basically solved, the document says.

By the year 2010, all the villages with more than 20 household which now have electricity supply will have access to TV and radio broadcast. For this purpose, the central finance will give financial support to poverty-stricken areas in central and western China, especially Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Qinghai, Gansu, Yunnan and Sichuan.

The government will basically reach the goal that film is shown in every village of the country once a month by the year 2010, when cultural center and library is available in every county, comprehensive cultural center in every town and cultural establishment in every village.

The government will support some publishing houses to publish more popular readings that farmers can afford and understand, while purchasing through pubic bidding books for rural cultural centers in major counties.

Leading media in the country, such the People's Daily, China National Radio and China Central Television, are required to improve services for farmers.

The government also promises to support the cultural activities of rural residents, to intensify efforts to sift local cultural resources and protect the fine ones, including traditional folk paper cuttings, paintings, porcelain, clay figures, weaving, dramas, acrobatics, lanterns, dragon boats and lion and dragon dances.

The document also calls for innovations in systems and mechanisms for cultural development in rural areas, including reform of state-owned cultural institutions and encouragement of farmers to run cultural entities to serve rural residents.

While strengthening policy regulation on the rural cultural market, the government will strike hard on illegal activities related to pornography and superstition in rural areas.

The document calls on the whole society to support cultural development in rural areas by organizing performing tours, donating TV sets, radios, computers and books, magazines and audiovisual products that rural residents need, encouraging college graduates to go to the countryside to serve farmers.

While strengthening the leadership to promote the work, governments at all levels should increase financial input, ensure fund supply for key cultural facilities and increase the number of cultural workers in rural areas, says the document, which also calls on government departments concerned to shoulder their responsibility for the work.

(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2005)


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