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The spirit of reform in Xiaogang Village December 2, 2020

The spirit of reform in Xiaogang Village

In November 1978, determined to fend off starvation, 18 villagers at Xiaogang Village, Fengyang County, Anhui Province, affixed their thumbprints to a contract. This led to the introduction of a major policy known as the household contract responsibility system, in which individual remuneration was linked to output, and served as a prelude to China's rural reform. The village has thus been hailed as the cradle of rural reform, and a symbolic position in China's reform process.

Over more than 40 years of rural reform, the courage of the first people to experiment, open a new path, and be pioneers in exploring the new territory of an "all-round contract system" has evolved into a spirit named after Xiaogang. It symbolizes the courage to create, take on responsibility, and keep on striving.

In April 2016, when Xi Jinping visited Xiaogang, he recalled this spirit in the context of China's experience over the past four decades. He reaffirmed China's determination to continue reform as a prerequisite for its future progress.