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Fred Gale: China farm plan missing key ingredient

Delegates fill the Great Hall of the People at the opening session of the National People's Congress in Beijing on March 5. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

China's new five-year plan calls for a complete overhaul of the countryside. If successful, the traditional patchwork of small plots, laborers in straw hats and water buffalo will be replaced by verdant fields stretching into the distance, dotted with tractors and lined with high-tech irrigation pipes.

     The big question is who will make the investments to transform a landscape that nobody really owns.

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