WUHAN, May 13 (Xinhua) -- A top Chinese institute for rural studies has released an index on social harmony in China's rural areas, the first of its kind in the country.
According to the Center for Chinese Rural Studies of the Central China Normal University, the rural social harmony index stayed at 59.2526 on the 100-point rating system.
The index is based on six factors, namely democracy, justice, honesty, vitality, stability and harmony between humans and nature, which come from the definition of a harmonious society from the report delivered at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Xu Yong, head of the institute, said among the factors, honesty drew the highest score of 83.65, while the rating for harmony between humans and nature was only 50.74.
Such scores indicate that farmers today still maintain a relatively high level of honesty and mutual trust, but environmental pollution, such as excessive use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides and random disposal of household garbage, has become a serious problem in rural areas, Xu said.
The lowest-scoring factor was vitality, which received 35.09, meaning rural social vitality has yet to be stimulated, he said.
Xu said the index was created after the institute launched a survey in 2009, when more than 300 students and faculty members tracked and researched 300 villages in China's 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions during summer and winter vacation.
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