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Politics and Policy in China's Social Assistance ReformProviding for the Poor?$
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Daniel R. Hammond

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420112

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420112.001.0001

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Rural Dibao: The Countryside and Fragmentation

Rural Dibao: The Countryside and Fragmentation

(p.89) Chapter 4 Rural Dibao: The Countryside and Fragmentation
Politics and Policy in China's Social Assistance Reform

Daniel R. Hammond

Edinburgh University Press

In 2007 the Chinese government nationally implemented the rural dibao programme. The chapter argues that while the circumstances of rural dibao’s implementation were different from its urban predecessor there are three striking similarities. First, in terms of values, it is argued that the rural dibao programme did fit comfortably with the agenda under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to address China’s unequal development and in particular the san nong wenti of the countryside. However, the process surrounding implementation of the rural programme also carried appeals to social stability. Second, the political structure had a significant impact on the implementation of the rural MLG. As with the urban programme implementation faced local intransigence. This was overcome by not only using similar means as with the urban programme; but also through explicitly dealing with one common source of problems, funding. Finally, there is the problem of administrative capacity in running the rural MLG programme. This appears as a classic outcome of the fragmented political and decision making structure in China where local government, often struggling to meet mandates passed down from above, prioritises the resources it has. What this all shows is that the challenges facing social assistance in China are not specific to the urban or the rural programme; but are a consequence of the structure of the state.

Keywords:   Rural, China, Dibao, Minimum Livelihood Guarantee, San nong wenti, Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao

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