BEIJING - The 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) started its third plenary session on Thursday to discuss important changes in rural reform and development policies.
President Hu Jintao talks with villagers during a visit to Xiaogang village, Fengyang county, Anhui province, on Sept 30. [Xinhua]
A draft of the Central Committee decision on major issues concerning rural reform and development would be deliberated at the four-day meeting, said a statement issued after the session opening.
The document is expected to guide reform and development in rural areas. Before the session, the draft was reviewed by senior Party members and advisors from various walks of society, including delegates to the 17th CPC National Congress, and amended according to their proposals.
The CPC leadership agreed that changes and problems had occurred in the countryside where economic reform started 30 years ago, the statement said.
Based on the changing reality, advancing rural reform would be a key step for the country, it said. This would also lay the foundation for China's development strategy.
On September 30, President Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, visited Xiaogang village in eastern Anhui Province. In 1978, a group of villagers there decided to adopt a household contract responsibility system, which entrusted the management and production of public owned farmlands to individual households through long-term contracts.
Later the system, described by then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping "a great invention of Chinese farmers", was widely adopted across the country and triggered the economic reform.
Hu's visit has underscored the importance the government has placed on the issues of farmland management and rural development.