Chen Xiwen, director of the Office of
the Central Leading Group on Rural Work, speaks at a press
conference held by the State Council Information Office, Feb. 2, 2009.
(Xinhua/Gao Xueyu) Photo
BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- About 20 million of
China's migrant workers have returned home after losing their jobs as the global
financial crisis takes a toll on the economy, said a senior official here on
Chen Xiwen, director of the office of the central
leading group on rural work, said about 15.3 percent of the 130 million migrant
workers had returned jobless from cities to the countryside.
The figures were based on a survey by the Ministry of
Agriculture in 150 villages in 15 provinces, carried out before the week-long
Lunar New Year holiday which began on Jan. 25.
His remarks came a day after the central government
issued its first document this year, which warned 2009 will be "possibly the
toughest year" since the turn of the century in terms of securing economic
development and consolidating the "sound development momentum" in agriculture
and rural areas.
The country's economic growth slowed to 6.8 percent
in the fourth quarter of 2008, dragging down the annual rate to a seven-year low
of 9 percent.
The document urged local and central government
departments to adopt measures to create jobs and increase rural incomes.
Companies were asked to take on more social
responsibilities and give rural migrant workers more favorable employment
treatment. Flexible employment policies and more training chances were also
Meanwhile, local government departments should
increase investment to provide favorable tax and fee policies to those who lost
jobs in cities and expect to find new work in their hometowns.
The government also urged departments to map out
basic pension insurance measures suitable for rural conditions and migrant
workers to ensure their rights.
BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese farmers' net per
capita income rose 8 percent last year, but it would be difficult to maintain
that pace of growth in 2009, a senior agriculture official told a press
conference here Monday.
Chen Xiwen, director of the Office of the Central Leading
Group on Rural Work, said the figure was 4,761 yuan (697 U.S. dollars) in 2008,
the fifth consecutive year of 6-percent-plus growth. Full story
BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- The government would not use
police forces as the first resort to dealing with possible social unrest in
rural areas this year, a senior Chinese official said Monday.
"Police will not be called in unless there are extreme
cases of violence, such as beating, looting and arson," Chen Xiwen, director of
the office of the central leading group on rural work, told a press conference
here. Full story
BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's government Sunday
warned 2009 will be "possibly the toughest year" since the turn of the century
in terms of securing economic development and consolidating the "sound
development momentum" in agriculture and rural areas.
The lingering global financial crisis and the slowdown of
the world economy had exerted an increasingly negative impact on the Chinese
economy, said the first document of the year issued jointly by the State Council
and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Full story
BEIJING, Feb. 2 -- At the beginning of the year of ox, the
CPC Central Committee and the State Council jointly issued the No.1 Document
concerning the "three rural issues" (a formula used to address the three key
issues in the development of rural China: the industrialization of agriculture;
the reform of the household registration system; the relief of farmers' life
burden and the raise of their cultural level).
The document was entitled "Opinions on Policies for
Promoting steady agricultural development and Facilitating Farmers' Incomes" and
it was a best Spring Festival present given to farmers by the central