Rural Development in mainland China: The Yunnan Experience
Michelle Hei Yan, Shum, November 2019
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After three decades of implementing the “reform and opening up” policy, China has successfully built a socialist market economy, which contributed to nearly 100 times increase in GDP from 1978 to 2008 and has been entering a stage of emphasizing overall and balanced societal development. Although Yunnan is a province with abundance of tourist resources possessing wonderful natural scenery and cultures, the very nature of these diversities rendered Yunnan as an underdeveloped region in comparison with other provinces in China, with 2 million peoples living in rural areas and in poverty in 2005. The Chinese government launched a series of measures to alleviate poverty in Yunnan province thereafter. This paper analyses the process of poverty combat in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County.
By utilizing the socio-legal analytic approach, the past and recent development of law and policies governing poverty combat in Yunnan was systematically reviewed. Qualitative data collected by site visits and face-to-face interviews with the directors and social workers of a renowned non-profit organization in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County actively engaged in community development projects (the “NPO”), was also analysed. Data came from both government and organization documents was also examined. This paper found that the assetsbased approach to social economy is adopted in Yunnan. The NPO provided support to the cooperatives in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County to develop Chinese Medicinal Herbs agricultural business (a bottom-up approach), which further realized the policy on agriculture development in Yunnan province (a top-down approach), demonstrated a case of harmonization of government and non-profit initiatives in realizing social economy, fulfilling the 5 dimensions of SSE and SDGs.