China to send youth to ‘volunteer’ in rural areas

China’s Communist Youth League (CYL) has decided to send more than 10 million students to “rural zones” by 2022 with an aim to “increase their skills, spread civilisation and promote science and technology”.

According to a Communist party document, quoted in the state-run Global Times daily on Thursday, the government wants to bring the talents of these youngsters, who would otherwise be attracted to lives in the big cities, to develop rural areas.

They have to live in the countryside during their summer holidays. The document hasn’t specified how the youth are to be persuaded to volunteer.

The move brings back the memories of Chairman Mao’s brutal Cultural Revolution about half a century ago when the government closed down universities for a decade and send the youth to live in primitive conditions in the countryside.

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