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Musicians.jpg (Photo : Wikimedia Commons )

According to a guideline document released by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council General Office on Wednesday, "cultural poverty" is a central concern for the state.

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To address the issue, China's government is seeking to implement changes that will facilitate equal access for all citizens--especially those in rural areas--to basic cultural services.

The Committee and General Office plan to adhere to a five-year time frame, with 2020 slated as the time marker, when a "modern public cultural service system" will be both active and accessible.

In terms of the needs of Chinese citizens in non-urban locations, the government plans to enact measures, such as the provision of more resources for rural folk art, in areas that are culturally significant for the country's rural residents.

The state acknowledged on Wednesday that rural areas exist where people continue to struggle with radio and television access, and require signal reception equipment to overcome this barrier. Additionally, it said that public resources that can disseminate valuable cultural material, including libraries, need to be established in such locations. 

As part of the guideline, an officer who is skilled in radio and television production, and who is capable of organizing cultural activities, will be stationed at township-level cultural stations. The presence of one officer in these facilities is the minimal standard, according to the state's new cultural practice. 

The high-need segments of the population highlighted in the guideline include the elderly, the disabled, migrant workers, the poor, and "left-behind" rural women and children. For those with limited financial means, the government will subsidize ticket prices for commercial cultural events, such as performances and feature films.