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Young Chinese to be sent back to villages in Mao-style move

AFP  |  Beijing 

is planning to send millions of youth "volunteers" back to the villages, raising fears of a return to the methods of Mao's brutal of 50 years ago.

The (CYL) has promised to despatch more than 10 million students to "rural zones" by 2022 in order to "increase their skills, spread civilization and promote science and technology," according to a document.

The aim is to bring to the rural areas the talents of those who would otherwise be attracted to life in the big cities, according to a CYL document quoted in the daily Thursday.

"We need young people to use science and technology to help the countryside innovate its traditional development models," Zhang Linbin, of a township in central Hunan Province, told the state-run

Students will be called upon to live in the countryside during their summer holidays, although the CYL did not say how young people would be persuaded to volunteer.

Former revolutionary bases, zones suffering from extreme poverty and ethnic minority areas will receive top priority, according to the CYL.

Relations are often fraught between the Han majority, who make up more than 90 percent of the population, and ethnic minorities like the Tibetans and Muslim Uighurs.

Users on the Twitter-like social platform reacted warily.

Many evoked the chaos of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, when sent millions of "young intellectuals" into often primitive conditions in the countryside, while universities were closed for a decade.

"Has it started again?" wondered one user named WangTingYu.

"We did that 40 years ago," wrote Miruirong.

"Sometimes history advances, sometimes it retreats," noted KalsangWangduTB.

Xi Jinping, known for his nostalgia for the era, himself spent seven years in a village in the poor northern province of from the age of 16.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 22:00 IST