context: Beijing recognises that its rural revitalisation strategy will depend on more than encouraging entrepreneurship and countryside tourism. Governance at the village level is still uneven at best, and this account of a model village in Hunan indicates that organisational reforms may be necessary to have the right cadres leading the effort.

Cadres have become the support base for rural revitalisation, reports People’s Daily. Focusing on organisational reform in Yangshan village, Guiyang county, Hunan province, the article details stricter screening of cadres before elections, noting wealthy locals, educated returnees and veterans were among those successfully elected. Local cadres used to be old, poorly educated, computer illiterate and had crude work methods, said an Organisation Department cadre. Now, cadres have altered their work style. Moreover, cadre remuneration is derived from per-capita net income of farmers, creating a closer relationship between the Party and the masses, and further incentivising officials to consider developing the village.

One successful candidate recounts his path to becoming a good village branch Party secretary: making division of labour clear, organising beautification of the village and understanding policies to give practical advice to villagers. This includes knowing how to apply for agricultural machinery subsidies, connect e-commerce and buy trademarks.