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A Proper Approach towards the Flow of Rural Population


Zhao Shukai, Development Research Center of the State Council

The large-scale migration of farmers in various regions has become a big issue in China's social and economic life since reform and also a major fact in the course of the modernization drive in China's rural areas. The flow of farmers has not only created a vigorous labor market, but also enriched the connotations of reform, which are reflected in the following aspects: 1. The number of migrant farmers is increasing and it was beyond people's expectation at the beginning of reform. The migrant farmers could be regarded as an "emerging force" and the direct institutional reason of that can be attributed to the disintegration of the People's Commune. 2. We should improve the social and psychological environment towards the migration of farmers. The overall society now holds a relatively low level of psychological acceptance towards these farmers. People from both urban and rural areas should change their minds and take a proper attitude towards the migrant farmers so as to ensure the adequate and sound development of rural migration. 3. The flow of farmers bears profound significance to reform. As for the theoretical comments on the flow of farmers, it would be far from enough by just saying it is an inevitable result of reform, a normal outcome of development or merely acknowledging that the attainments are important while the problems are negligible. Farmers have dealt a blow to the old social order. They should not be made to adapt to the old order. Instead, it is necessary to reform the old order to create greater room for their development. 4. Migrant farmers have created a vigorous labor market, which has become one of the major issues in China's economic activity. And 5. The protection of rights and interests of floating farmers should not be ignored. While people make research on the occurrence and evolvement of migrant farmers, they somehow ignore problems pertinent to their survival conditions, their rights and interests, and especially the protection of their related rights and interests.