An aerial view of a village in Baise of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in early 2019 showcasing improved housing and agricultural production amid rising standards of living in the area. [Photo by Tan Weifeng/For China Daily] China will continue to develop areas that have recently emerged from poverty, bolster agricultural production and improve working and living conditions in rural regions, the Government Work Report said on Friday. The efforts are meant to consolidate and expand benefits resulting from the poverty relief campaign, which, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, lifted more than 55 million rural residents out of extreme poverty during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20) and eradicated poverty from the Chinese mainland. Counties that have left poverty behind will be given a five-year "transition period", during which major assistance will remain unchanged, said the report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on Friday at the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress, China's top legislature. Authorities will roll out follow-up support for those resettled from inhospitable areas, and step up assistance to prevent people from falling back into poverty, the report said. Officials will work to ensure that rural migrant workers－who are more vulnerable to salary defaults－receive their pay on time and in full, and accelerate the development of rural industries while strengthening county-level economies to create local jobs, it said. As China transitions from poverty relief to a focus on vitalizing its vast countryside, the report said a number of once-impoverished counties in western regions will be chosen for rural vitalization assistance. China will strive to make key technological breakthroughs in agriculture, better protect croplands and prevent such areas from being used for nonagricultural purposes to ensure food safety, it said. China will also move to stabilize hog production and prevent animal and plant diseases, it added. "We are resolved to ensure food security for our 1.4 billion people, and we know we can achieve this," Li said while delivering the report.