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Premier stresses crucial role in the drive for greater rural vitalization
By:China Daily
update:September 01,2021

Shi Qiushi (R), a primary school teacher, brings ginger onto delivery vehicle in Longcheng town of Tongdao Dong autonomous county, Central China's Hunan province, Aug 28, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
 
Sept. 1, 2021 -- The expansion of China's rural express delivery network has attracted the attention of the central government. It has been written into the outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and promoted in the government's annual report this year.
 
Last month, at an executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet, Premier Li Keqiang reiterated that the country will improve the rural delivery logistics system.
 
The move, part of efforts to advance rural vitalization, is aimed at further facilitating the flow of agricultural produce to urban households and consumer goods to rural areas.
 
In response to the premier's call, the State Post Bureau has set the goal of building a safe, efficient, open, two-way rural delivery network by 2025 to benefit the rural population.
 
"Most express deliverers are now sending parcels to towns, and then texting or ringing villagers to alert them of the arrival of their packages. Riding motorbikes or driving tractors, villagers have to go to towns to pick up their purchases. It takes one, two or even three hours to pick up a package. What about the time costs for villagers?" said Ma Junsheng, head of the bureau.
 
"If we can send the parcels to the villages, how many hurdles will we have overcome for rural residents?"
 
He urged service providers to do the math and solve the villagers' practical problems, and he also said rural residents have demonstrated their strong purchasing power.
 
Chen Kai, deputy director of the bureau, conceded that the problem of "last mile" accessibility has yet to be solved, and he encouraged cooperation between different parcel delivery companies to overcome the problem.
 
Jin Jinghua, head of the bureau's market inspection department, said it is practical to work with other operators such as rural bus services, as nearly every village has access to a bus service, and added that the bureau has carried out the plan in accordance with the development of different regions.
 
In East and Central China, the market will be leveraged and businesses will be shown how to set up outlets in villages to provide better delivery services.
 
In West China, postal service providers will be required to focus on their role in last-stage deliveries and cooperate more closely with sectors such as express delivery, supply and marketing so services can be extended to cover more villages.
 
Last year, 83.3 billion parcels were delivered and collected in China, and the figure is expected to rise to 95.5 billion this year, according to the bureau.
 
"By 2025, parcel delivery outlets will have been set up in every town across China, and services will be extended to every village. This will ensure that agricultural produce can be shipped to cities, and consumer goods can be delivered to rural regions," Chen said.
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