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China's Rural Development Policy: Exploring the "New Socialist Countryside"

Minzi Su
China's Rural Development Policy: Exploring the "New Socialist Countryside"
ISBN: 978-1-935049-06-7
2009/313 pages/LC: 2009013942
A FirstForumPress Book
"[Su's] nuanced account of local government in the countryside is especially valuable.... This study ... will certainly interest anyone who wants to know more about rural development in China."—Delia Davin, Asian Affairs

"This deeply researched study affords a balanced view of where and how government policies have been in touch with farmers’ needs or out of touch with farming realities. Su provides much food for thought about development policymaking and rural capacity-building in a country where all generalizations fail."—Mel Gurtov, Portland State University


As China strives to achieve nothing less than a "harmonious society"—despite the pronounced and institutionalized class structure that divides rural Chinese from urban, eastern from western, and rich from poor— a key element of that effort is a "new socialist countryside." Minzi Su assesses the prospects for China's rural revitalization programs now in their initial stages.

Su draws on her extensive, front-line field research to discover precisely why Beijing's rural development policies, though helping many, have thus far bypassed hundreds of millions of farm households. Not least, she also identifies the capacities and political-economic conditions that hold the greatest promise for successful policy implementation.


Minzi Su is assistant professor in the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs at Tennessee State University


  • Introduction.
  • The Evolution of China's Rural Development Policy.
  • Local Government in Action.
  • Rural Life.
  • New Rural Development Strategies.
  • Eight Case Studies.
  • What’s Working, What Isn't.
  • Conclusion.