Xi helps cook as he visits county struck by quake
Ahead of the Spring Festival, President Xi Jinping has visited for days poor families in southwest China’s remote mountains, inspected a quake-hit area, and joined villagers to prepare celebrations for this most important festival for the Chinese.
In Zhanqi, a village in Sichuan Province, villagers made dumplings at home, wrote new year scrolls, and went out to have family photos taken. When Xi arrived, they cheered and surrounded him to wish him a happy new year.
The president was more than delighted to chat.
“My job is to serve the people,” said Xi. “To let the people live a great life is the original aspiration of us Communists.”
In the village, Xi watched demonstrations on how villagers used the Internet to conduct agricultural business and sell local handicrafts. He even bought a pair of hand-sewn cloth shoes.
Xi later told local Party cadres and government officials to uphold people-centered development. “Always be concerned with what the people are concerned with, love them and let them benefit,” he said.
The president said the issues that concern the people most — education, jobs, health care, social security and order — should be properly dealt with to let the people feel richer, happier and safer.
Before coming to the village, Xi visited Yingxiu in Wenchuan County, the epicenter of the magnitude 8 earthquake that struck on May 12, 2008. He visited the ruins of a middle school and laid flowers in memory of more than 80,000 people killed in the quake and the heroes who died during rescue work.
The president visited a tea-making shop and a restaurant in Yingxiu, where he helped to make buttered tea, cook fried crisp pork and grind soybeans to make bean curd jelly.
Xi said the great achievement in quake recovery showed the strength of the Party leadership and the socialist system.
He urged officials to continue to grow the economy and improve the life of the locals.
The first leg of Xi’s new year inspection, from Saturday to yesterday, took him to one of the country’s most impoverished areas — Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture.
Eleven of the 17 counties in the prefecture are flagged as key spots in the state’s poverty alleviation work. The prefecture is populated by the Yi, an ethnic minority in China. Many live in remote mountainous areas, which impedes their economic development.
Xi went to two Yi villages, including one at 2,500 meters above sea level, to visit poor villagers. He was pleased to learn that villagers have increased their income through raising cattle and growing potatoes, pepper and walnuts.
“Not a single ethnic group, family or person should be left behind,” Xi said. “To build a moderately prosperous society, the most difficult task lies in regions with extreme poverty.”
“But we will fight and must win this war,” he added.
Under Xi, China aims to eliminate absolute poverty by 2020.
The poor have been Xi’s foremost concern. For the sixth year in a row, Xi’s Lunar New Year inspection tour has taken him to the front lines of China’s war against poverty.
Xi also visited an electronics manufacturing firm in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, where he inspected liquid crystal panel production process and learned about the firm’s information security products.
Xi showed keen interest in the latest progress in the digital information sector, which is considered a key part of the real economy.
The president called on companies to improve their ability to innovate and compete in the global market, stressing that companies need to shift from Made-in-China to Invented-in-China and focus on quality instead of speed and creating more Chinese brands.
Xi underscored that China’s economy has shifted from high-speed growth to high-quality development and that the goal is to develop a modernized economy.
“The government of Sichuan should further promote the development of the real economy, deepen supply-side structural reform, encourage innovation, and push forward the coordinated development of urban and rural areas,” he said.
Xi said that since the Party’s 19th National Congress had shown the way forward for the Party and the state, cadres must work hard to let the people benefit.
He reiterated upholding the authority of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and its centralized and unified leadership.
“Do whatever the Party authority asks them to do and refrain from doing what it bans,” he said.