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272 32 A Letter to Central Government Leaders on the Report by the National People’s Congress on Implementation of the Agricultural Law1 December 29, 1994 To [Jiang] Zemin, Li Peng, Qiao Shi, [Li] Ruihuan, [Liu] Huaqing, [Hu] Jintao and leading members of the State Council: The problems in implementing our grain purchase policy described in this report deserve our attention and solutions, but there are some factual inaccuracies . For instance, it says that policies “changed three times in half a year.” Thus far, despite smaller harvests, we’ve already purchased almost 150 billion jin2 of grain, which is more than last year and which is equal to 80% of the planned set-price and negotiated-price purchases for the year. We’ve already purchased 54 million dan3 of cotton, which is more than for the previous cotton year. These facts have shown that the achievements of the central government’s reforms of the grain and cotton purchase systems are undeniable, and the situation is far better than it was last year, when laissez-faire resulted in skyrocketing prices for grain and cotton and the markets were chaotic. Currently, the rural situation is good and the eagerness of the farmers to grow grain has greatly increased. As for the continuing reluctance of farmers to sell (which is the “experience” they gained from the sharp rises in grain prices last year after our purchases), there is no need to be too anxious. As long as our market management does not slacken and the grain and cotton remain in the hands of the farmers, this is no 1. On December 23, 1994, when discussing the main problems of agriculture in its “Report on Inspections of the Implementation of the ‘Agricultural Law of the People’s Republic of China,’” the implementation inspection group of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress said, “Grain purchase policy has ‘changed three times in half a year.’ First it was ‘ensuring the grain and decontrolling prices,’ then it was ‘ensuring the grain and limiting prices,’ and this later turned into ‘ensuring the grain and fixing prices.’ Some locals simply shut down their grain markets. The purchase price for cotton was unveiled fairly late, and also changed frequently.” This is the letter Zhu Rongji wrote to Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, Qiao Shi, Li Ruihuan, Liu Huaqing, Hu Jintao, and leading members of the State Council regarding this issue. 2. One jin is equal to 0.5 kilograms. 3. One dan is equal to 50 kilograms. A Letter to Central Government Leaders on the Report by the National People’s Congress 273 different from scattered storage and does not pose a problem. Because we have already imported a considerable quantity of grain and cotton, even if we fail to purchase any for a while, there will be no major problems with market supply. But if we were to slacken our market management at this time and deregulate the set prices (negotiated prices have already been deregulated), then would that not be “four changes in one year”? Market prices would be sure to soar, and those farmers who sold early would be the losers. What would we do next year? The above report is for your consideration. (Copies to [Wu] Bangguo, [Jiang] Chunyun, and [Wen] Jiabao) Zhu Rongji December 29 ...


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