The object of our investigation is the level and the structure of provision for the basic needs of China's rural population, which in 1983 constituted 76.5% of the total population (TJZY, 1984, p. 15). Before listing the basic needs and the guarantees for their provision, we must draw attention to the particular connotation of the term 'rural' in the Chinese context. 'Rural' designates the place of residence and not the source of livelihood. A fair proportion of the population designated as rural obtains its livelihood not from agriculture but from the extensive range of rural industries, social services and government administration.