Guidance on Improvement of Rural Residential Environment of the State Council General Office

Guidance on Improvement of Rural Residential Environment of the State Council General Office

Published: 2015.10.12
Accepted: 2015.10.12
Assistant Professor
School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Renmin University of China


In recent years, different regions and departments strictly implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC (Communist of Party of China) Central Committee and the State Council, to promote rural infrastructure and rural equalization of basic public services, and make the rural living environments gradually improved. However, it should be noted that the overall level of China's current rural living environments is still low, which has a big gap between the goal of building a well-off society with aspects of living conditions, public facilities and environmental health and etc. Furthermore, to improve rural living conditions, the State Council gives the following instructions:

1.General requirements

(1)   Guiding ideology.

Under the guidance of the idea of Deng Xiaoping Theory, "Three Representatives" and Scientific Concept of Development, to thoroughly study and interpret the idea of 18th CPC Central Committee and the Second and Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, to implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. According to the general requirements of building a comprehensive well-off society and a new socialist countryside, with protecting the peasants' basic living conditions as the bottomline, improving the village environment is the key, building livable village as the guidance, from the reality and step by step, through long-term hardwork, in order to improve the production and living conditions in the rural areas

(2) Fundamental principle.


Take suitable measures to local conditions and give specific guidance to different situations. According to the general requirements of improving rural living environment, based on the local economic and social development, scientifically identify specific objectives, priorities, methods and standards in different regions. Give local government autonomy and release their creativity to prevent the doctrine.

Be practical and gradual. According to the periodic rule of improving rural living environment, based on the existing conditions and financial capacity, prioritize to protect the projects of basic living conditions of peasants, orderly promote the administration of living environment and prevent big demolition and construction.

Balance urban and rural development, highlighting the characteristics. Gradually achieve equalization of basic public services in urban and rural areas, promoting complementation between rural and urban areas which are coordinated development. Cautiously cut trees, prohibit digging and filling the lake and have less demolitions, to protect the beautiful rural scenery, carrying forward the traditional culture and highlighting the rural character and countryside style.

Insist the main position of peasants, respect the wishes of peasants, create convenience in production and living, combine increasing of peasants' income with employment and entrepreneurship. Widely encouraging peasants to participate in the implementation of organized projects, protecting peasants' right to make decision, participation and supervision, preventing the government from taking on everything, and government shall not enforce and assign peasants commissions which would increase the their burden.

(3) Objectives and commissions. By 2020, national peasants’ basic living conditions of housing, drinking and transportation should be significantly improved, in order to make the living environment clean and tidy and to build a number of distinctive beautiful livable village.

2. Planning ahead, guidance rural living environment governance

(1)Accelerate the establishment of villages planning. To establish and improve the system planning of villages in county region, according to the change of population in towns and villages, make some scientific reasoning to identify the layout of main town and the general town, village center and the general village. To make the project and construction standards reasonably of infrastructure and public service facilities, to clear focal point and schedule from different location and different types of village living environment. According to the system planning of villages in county region, work out the planning of construction activities and the need to strengthen the protection of villages.

(2)Improve the feasibility of rural planning. The planning of villages must meet the actual situation in countryside and the needs of peasants and reflect its rural character.  The establishment planning would undertake field investigations, insisting the problem-oriented and protecting peasants' participation. At the same time, make a proper relationship between establishment planning and others such as land-use planning which is used to prevent villages to demolish and merge. The planning content would identify the implementation scheme and propose the requirements to strengthen quality and style of the village’s building, fully combined with the development needs of modern agriculture, then rationally distinct areas between production and living and make a general plan about productive infrastructure. Planning results must be easy to understand. The main projects would reach the enforceable degree and the relevant requirements could be incorporated into village regulations and agreements.

(3)Reasonably determine the key improvement issues. Depending on the present status of village living environment, establishment planning needs to take into account the long-term development and classify the focus of renovation, step by step. The villages with imperfect basic living conditions should focus on electricity, road, gas and house, otherwise, the villages with better basic living conditions should focus on environmental remediation, and thoroughly improve the quality of living environment.

3. Focused, gradually improve rural living environment

(1)Try our best to ensure a better quality of life. Accelerating dangerous houses in rural regions reconstructed, basically complete the tasks of reconstructed dangerous houses and establish the basic housing security in rural areas and improve long-term mechanism by 2020. Strengthen the quality and safety supervision of construction of rural houses, take good training and management of rural artisans building, implement the basic requirements of anti-seismic rural houses and improve the property of rural housing energy saving performance. Continue to promote the projects about rural safe-water program, and adjust measures to local conditions to implement the water supply in urban and rural regions and complete the 12th Five-Year Plan about national rural drinking water safety project. Implement road repair work, which could almost solve the problem of peasants’ difficulties in going out. Vigorously promote new rural construction of electrification counties, set down to a new round of rural power grid upgrading to promote powered by renewable energy sources and comprehensively solve the electricity problem in rural residents without electricity. Strengthen geological disaster prevention and improve the facilities of preventing disaster such as fires, floods, etc.

(2)Devote more efforts to develop village environment regulations. Continue to promote a new round of rural environment improvement, focus on governance in rural garbage and sewage. Implementation of rural county garbage and sewage treatment which are unified planning, construction and management, the conditional place could extend the facilities and services of urban garbage and sewage to the rural areas. There is a need to establish village clean-keeping system and implement garbage classification in the place where they belong to and resource recycling. Carry out urban and rural sanitation and clean action. Vigorously carry out the construction of small ecological-clean watershed, pushing the comprehensive management of rural river in whole villages.

Promote scientific separation of livestock breeding areas and living areas, and guide the large-scale development of breeding industries, supporting large-scale of livestock farm waste comprehensive treatment. Guide farmers to carry out the straw returned and straw breeding, support facilities construction about the usage of energy-from-straw. Gradually establish the harmless collection of dead animals and processing system, accelerate the construction of safe disposal sites. Reasonable process pesticide packaging, plastic sheeting and other wastes, accelerate the construction of waste recycling facilities. Promote the rural sanitation projects, develop practical large-scale bio-gas and household bio-gas. Promote the revolution of rural families’ lavatories, make the tasks of sanitary toilet transformation completely. Adapt the need of the large-scale production of and the new type of operating entities including large-scale grower in planting and breeding, overall planning the construction of public productive facilities including dry field, greenhouse and etc. There should be a regulation on taking up rural roads to be dried and piled.

Promote the renovation of rural land thoroughly, using land intensively and economically. Enhance the village public space renovation, prohibit littering, demolish illegal structures, dredge pits and channels, promote the construction of village public lighting facilities. Overall use the vacant land, existing houses and facilities such as construction of village public places.


Instructions of General Office of the State Council on the improvement of rural residential environment is more so a reflection on government’s support and emphasis for ecological civilization construction. The urbanization promoted by China barely consider the reservation of rural ecological environment, many regions are cutting trees down, filling lakes and building blocks, which make us hardly find natural scenery but tall buildings everywhere. However, the real goal of urbanization is developing the advantages between city and countryside in the process of balancing urban and rural development rather than simply built many blocks in rural regions just like spatial shape of city.

The sentence impressed me deeply which was proposed in the CPC Central Committee Conference on Urbanization saying that we have to make city residents enjoy the fascinating scenery such as mountains, rivers and remember our nostalgia. If we desire our nostalgia, we would keep our nostalgia and homeland. Let’s start from improving rural residential environment. 


Date submitted: Oct. 8, 2015

Reviewed, edited and uploaded: Oct. 12, 2015