Following a first visit in 2017, in May 2019 a group of experts from the European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD) undertook a new mission to China, organised by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
During the ten-day visit, the EU Local Action Group representatives (LAGs) learned about the reality of Chinese rural territories and shared their knowledge about the LEADER approach. The mission resulted in an initial agreement with the Xingguo County, Jiangxi Province that paves the way to establishing the first Local Action Group in China. The choice of Xingguo County, a green tea and orange growing territory known throughout China for its revolutionary past, is symbolic for the launch of a new participatory local development approach based on the European LEADER principles.
Chinese rural territories face poverty, ecological challenges and a need for more effective governance methods. Should the pilot phase be successful, the development of Chinese LAGs could contribute to addressing these issues and offer huge cooperation potential with European LAGs in the future.