The paper investigates the agricultural cooperatives acting as a new urban-rural interface in China. It analyses the traditionally accepted urban-rural interface (small towns and medium cities) and the agricultural cooperatives for rural development. The findings of a comparative analysis show that agricultural cooperatives are bottom-up initiatives, representing peasants’ interests, which dynamically and actively link the rural areas with the cities. These functions are different from those of the small towns and medium cities whereby the rural areas passively respond to the urban influence. The framework of agricultural cooperatives as constituting the new urban-rural interface is depicted. Finally, the paper highlights the need to develop agricultural cooperatives in the current situation of rural China.
Keywords: Urban-rural interface, agricultural cooperative, rural development, China.
Jel Code: R00, R1, Q00.