THE re-emergence of feudalistic clans in China's countryside has prompted efforts by the ruling Communist Party to tighten political control in villages through a revamp of its 800,000 party cells, official reports said. The Economic Daily said yesterday ''unstable elements'' had surfaced again in some villages as a result of ''chaotic social order, backward economic development and rampant growth of negative and evil phenomenon''. The front-page commentary followed more revelations of a break down of law and order in the vast countryside. The latest reported incident in Anhui province in October left one person dead and several injured. The Economic Daily report said a major contributor to the countryside unrest was a failure of the Communist Party at grassroots level to ''function as a fortress''. Party cells and other government organisations at the village level had become lax and weak. ''If this situation is not changed immediately, not only will the rural economy not be able to take off but social stability will be endangered and the authority of the party and government units in the villages will be undermined and shaken,'' it warned. The article admitted that some grassroots organisations had lost their ''appeal and cohesiveness'' among the 900 million rural population. ''[Some of these organisations] serve little for the masses but put heavy levies on them,'' it stated. ''The increased burden on peasants resulted in tense relations between the masses and cadres. ''A considerable number of leading cadres in grassroots organisations have failed to adjust their thoughts, working styles and levels to the needs under the new circumstances.'' The report said Communist Party General-Secretary Jiang Zemin had recently ordered that the country should make a determined effort to re-establish the 800,000-strong party and government organisations in villages. This would be done in phases over the next three to five years. Party leadership over rural work should be strengthened to upgrade the ''alliance between workers and peasants'', the report said. It stressed the importance of hand-picking outstanding young cadres who were good at supervision and grooming them for leadership positions. Party cells should act as the nucleus for the strengthening in villages of residents' committees, economic co-operative organisations, women's associations and civilian troops. Furthermore, the respective functions of party cells and the other village organisations should be streamlined to make rural work more effective. Crucial to changes at the village level was the education of village cadres. The report said efforts should be made to nurture a group of ''new-style'' cadres who would master skills and technology, and gain management expertise and knowledge of a commodity economy. ''This will facilitate the sustained, high-speed and healthy development of rural economy,'' the report said.