China: 2009 to be a tough year

Feb. 1, 2009 at 1:52 PM

BEIJING, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The Chinese government has warned its citizens that 2009 will be a tough year for the republic, a government report said.

Beijing said when it comes to economic development in rural areas, 2009 will be "possibly the toughest year" since the turn of the century, Xinhua reported Sunday.

The State Council and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China said the lingering global financial crisis and the sluggish world economy has had an increasingly negative effect on the Chinese economy.

"The development of agriculture and rural areas in 2009 is of special significance," the council report said. "The biggest potential for boosting domestic demand lies in rural areas; the foundation for securing steady and relative fast economic growth is based upon agriculture; the toughest work of securing and improving people's livelihoods stays with farmers."

To help farmers weather the economic storm, Beijing said it plans to strengthen farmers' land rights and migrant rural workers' employment rights.

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