Research reports on rural community building in China

Stream: International social policy
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 10.55 am – 12.35 pm


China started rural community building in early 2000s, which was used to promote rural public services equalization and increase the quality and level of community governance.

Rural community building means to establish community based social organizations in rural areas to deliver social services, including offering primary healthcare, cultural and sports facilities, beautifying community environment, resolving civil disputes, and promoting of mutual assistance. The rural community building was meant to be rolled out gradually from 2016. The provincial government selected some villages as pilots to test out the initiatives and draw lessons on how to proceed in the future.

From July to August 2018, in order to review the pilot schemes, a research team was formed including government officials and academic experts to assess 20 communities in Zhejiang Province. The research was carried out by focus group discussions with local officials and site visits.

The research shows that a whole set of new services and facilities were introduced in each community. However, the initiatives also resulted in more administrative burdens for the communities. The infrastructure construction was uneven. Rural cultural auditoriums were not used as much as originally planned. These findings exposed serious weaknesses in rural community construction initiatives. This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion on improving community governance and services at community level in China.


Jingyu Wang (Presenter), Zhejiang Institute of Administration, China
• Professor of Department of Political Science at ZhejiangInstitute of Administration
• Secretary-General of Scientific Socialism Society of Zhejiang Province
• Director of Scientific Socialism Society of China
• Director of Political Science Society of Zhejiang Province,