Xi calls for continuous efforts in post-flood reconstruction in Beijing, Hebei

Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday visited the areas affected by floods this summer in Beijing and Hebei Province.
Xinhua
Xi calls for continuous efforts in post-flood reconstruction in Beijing, Hebei
Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping (center) on Friday visited the areas affected by floods this summer in Beijing and Hebei Province.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected the reconstruction work at the areas affected by floods in Beijing and Hebei Province on November 10. Xi stressed that Party committees and governments at all levels, as well as relevant parties, should faithfully implement the decisions and arrangements of the Party Central Committee to make persistent efforts in post-flood reconstruction so as to ensure that local people could live in comfort and plenty, and have a warm home during the winter. He stressed the need to uphold a people-centered approach, apply systems thinking and make sound planning and rational overall arrangement in a down-to-earth manner. He called for redoubled efforts to close safety loopholes and strengthen weak links. He urged accelerated progress in improving flood control and prevention projects, emergency management, and capacity to prevent, mitigate and relieve disasters.

In late July and early August, rainstorm occurred in North China and Yellow and Huaihe river valleys, causing floods and geological disasters, resulting in heavy casualties in Beijing, Hebei and other places. Xi has been concerned about flood-affected people and paid close attention to work on flood prevention and relief as well as post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. He has made instructions multiple times, requiring relevant authorities to ensure the safety of people's lives and property, as well as to restore work and life order in disaster-hit regions. In early September, Xi visited flood-affected villagers in Shangzhi City, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. As winter approaches in northern China, Xi came to the severely flood-stricken areas of Beijing and Hebei to visit the affected people, and inspect and guide post-disaster reconstruction work.

On November 10, accompanied by Yin Li, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, Yin Yong, mayor of Beijing, Ni Yuefeng, secretary of CPC Hebei Provincial Committee and Wang Zhengpu, governor of Hebei, Xi visited Mentougou District of Beijing and Baoding City of Hebei to learn about the progress in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction on site.

The Sanjiadian water diversion reservoir is a water control project in the Guanting gorge section of the Yongding River. On the morning of November 10, Xi came here to hear reports on the restoration projects of the Yongding River and other rivers, and the operation of sluices, and learned about the progress in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. Xi noted that Mentougou, Fangshan and other mountainous areas have high mountains and deep valleys, where continuous heavy rainfall is likely to cause catastrophic mountain floods, and are the key areas for flood control and prevention in Beijing. It is necessary to build and make good use of controlling projects such as reservoirs, as well as improve flood control standards for roads, houses and other buildings in mountainous areas, so as to effectively improve flood control and prevention capacity. It is necessary to sum up historical experience, address prominent problems and weak links, and follow the principle of "storing floodwaters upstream, channeling floodwaters in the middle reaches, and discharging floodwaters downstream to effectively control floodwaters" in accordance with the characteristics of Beijing's river system, speed up the restoration of flood-damaged facilities, and strengthen the construction of key water conservancy projects, so as to provide strong support for flood control in the capital.

After that, Xi took a vehicle to the Miaofeng Mountain Ethnic School. In this year's flood season, the school served as a temporary shelter for displaced residents and the place where flood prevention and relief personnel were stationed. Xi walked into a classroom, where the children were holding a theme class meeting under the guidance of their teacher. The children showed him their handicrafts with the theme of flood control and disaster relief, and reported their experiences and feelings when facing floods. Xi was very happy to hear that. He said that ensuring the flood-affected students can return to school on time is a requirement the CPC Central Committee has imposed for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. Through the joint efforts of all parties, all schools in the disaster-stricken areas have reopened on time. It is a great relief to see the happy smiles of the children. "Your school successfully avoided risks in this flood, and played a good role as a 'safe island.' It is necessary to make good use of this vivid example, carry out safety education, and strengthen children's safety awareness and ability to avoid risks," Xi said. Children will never forget what they have experienced during this flood control and prevention effort. They should be taught to be grateful, have aspirations, and strive to become a new generation of builders of and successors to the socialist cause.

On the school's playground, he met with the families of martyrs who died on duty, grassroots Party members and officials, members of the public, fire and emergency rescue personnel, employees of state-owned enterprises, volunteer representatives and so on who participated in flood control and disaster relief. Xi noted that during the disaster rescue and relief efforts, grassroots Party members and officials took the lead in the disaster relief effort, demonstrating courage and a sense of responsibility. The People's Liberation Army (PLA), Armed Police, and firefighters bravely stepped forward and marched in harm's way. Employees of state-owned enterprises responded promptly to the call for flood relief. People from all walks of life and volunteers also actively participated in and contributed to the disaster relief work, demonstrating their greater love and compassion in the face of ruthless floods. This has showcased the salient advantage of the socialist system for being able to pool resources together during difficult times. It reflects the spirit of unity and mutual assistance across the country and the people. Many heartwarming stories have emerged from these endeavors. Tragically, some Party members and officials have sacrificed their lives. We must always remember them and make their heroic deeds known to the public. Relevant authorities should take good care of their families.

Approaching noon time, Xi visited Shuiyuzui Village in Miaofengshan Township. At the riverfront platform by the village entrance, Xi was briefed on the situation in the village. Subsequently, he walked around to inspect the looks of the village, learning about the progress of recovery and reconstruction of its infrastructures. He emphasized that after the floods, it is imperative to invest heavily in restoration and significantly improve the resilience of water conservancy facilities and flood prevention infrastructure. It is essential to adhere to a people-centered approach and make plans scientifically with a long-term view, and closely integrate the recovery and reconstruction with the promotion of high-quality development, the advancement of resilient urban construction, the promotion of rural revitalization, and the advancement of ecological environment. Targeted measures should be taken to comprehensively advance disaster prevention, reduction, and relief capabilities. In particular, efforts should be made to improve the emergency management and organization system at the grassroots level in both urban and rural areas so that the capabilities for disaster prevention, risk-aversion, self-rescue and mutual help can be strengthened.

At the home of villager Li Meng, Xi inquired in detail about the extent of damage to the house, expenses for repairs, and heating conditions. Xi stated that ensuring the safety and heating for the disaster-affected residents during the winter is a challenging task that must be addressed effectively. The winter in north China is long, and it is particularly cold in the mountains. Detailed efforts must be made to ensure heating for every household. For the households ready to move in after housing repairs, reinforcement, or reconstruction have been completed, guidance and assistance should be provided to ensure their winter heating. For those whose housing reconstruction has not been completed yet, measures such as seeking help from relatives and friends, house renting, or government resettlement should be taken to ensure they have warm places to live in.

The local residents warmly bid farewell to the general secretary when he was leaving the village. Xi said to them, "I have been concerned about the people in the disaster-stricken areas. The Communist Party is a party that serves the people and always places the people in the highest position in our hearts. Whether it is emergency relief or post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, we will spare no effort. I hope you will remain confident and work hard to build a better home."

In Zhuozhou, a county-level city under Baoding City hit hard by the severe flooding during this year's flood season, production and life order have been basically restored. On the afternoon of November 10, Xi visited the Yongji Xiuyuan residential compound in Shuangta Sub-district. He first came to the pharmacy and the supermarket at the entrance of the compound, inquiring in detail about the recovery of business operations. He then visited the heating station and inspected the operation of the heating facilities. Xi urged Party committees and governments at all levels to take all necessary measures to help local residents, small businesses and enterprises that have suffered a big loss in this major disaster overcome difficulties. Urban recovery and reconstruction should be based on sound disaster prevention and reduction review and planning, in which full considerations must be given to risk and disaster prevention, such as reserving flood channels and flood discharge areas, upgrading drainage pipe networks, and strengthening the city's operational capabilities.

Xi paid a visit to the home of Dong Caiying, a local resident, inquiring in detail about the water level during the flood, emergency housing, change of furniture and appliances, heating, and related subsidies. Dong replied that with the help of Party officials, the house has been cleaned and repaired before they move in, and there is no problem with heating during the winter. Xi stressed that restoring the living environment of every household and neighborhood is the top priority in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction of urban areas. It is imperative to address loopholes and strengthen weak links and seek further and steady progress in every work, with joint efforts from organizations at the primary level, Party members, officials, neighborhoods, professional workforces from all walks of life and volunteers.

Upon his leaving, Xi talked amicably with the residents of the neighborhood. Xi told them that the disaster was so serious in Zhuozhou that he was concerned about the local residents' conditions every day. He said that he felt quite relieved seeing that the urban public service facilities have resumed operation and that residents' life has returned to normal. Xi said that as the saying goes, nothing can be achieved without undergoing trials and hardships. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee, as long as everyone is of one mind for joint endeavor, they are bound to live a much better life. The second round of the theoretical study program is underway, Party committees at all levels in the disaster areas should combine the study program with the post-disaster recovery and reconstruction work closely, carry forward the spirit of the fight against flood and disaster relief, ensure that primary-level Party organizations and every Party member and official play a key, exemplary and vanguard role, and examine whether the study program is effective through the results of the recovery and reconstruction and how the people are satisfied with them.

The Wanquanzhuang Village of Diaowo Township is located at a flood detention and storage area in Langouwa. All the 311 households of the village fell victims to the disaster during the flood season this year. Xi took a close look at the recovery and reconstruction work on roads and houses. He walked into a construction site where a house was being rebuilt and learned about the loss caused by the disaster, the progress of the reconstruction work and where the owners were temporarily sheltering. Xi encouraged them to overcome difficulties in unity and rebuild a beautiful and harmonious village.

Villager Yang Peiran's house was not that seriously damaged, and it has been repaired and consolidated, and his family has moved back in. Xi walked into Yang's house and learned about their family income, the expenses on the repair work and the resumption of production. Xi pointed out that repairing, reinforcing and reconstructing houses is the top priority for post-flooding recovery and reconstruction. It now appears that the housing repair and reinforcement have been basically completed and that the heaviest and most difficult task lies in reconstruction. Party committees and governments at all levels should pay more attention to the households whose houses need to be reconstructed, and offer proper places for those who have nowhere to stay or have special difficulties to put up temporarily during the transition period. Concrete and effective measures must be taken to prevent them from returning to poverty because of the disaster.

When bidding farewell, villagers sent their regards to the general secretary loudly. Xi said to the villagers that they suffered tremendously in the flooding disaster that was rarely seen in history, and Xi said that he gave them his condolences. He said that Party committees and governments at all levels are taking a variety of measures to concretely push forward the post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. He expressed the hope that villagers should strive themselves and overcome difficulties to accelerate the pace of recovery and reconstruction and promote rural revitalization with their own efforts.

Xi walked into the farmlands alongside the village to inspect the growth of winter wheat and cabbages. He pointed out that agricultural production is an important aspect of post-disaster recovery and construction. It is not only directly associated with the incomes of villagers but also has a bearing on the national food security. It is imperative to work against the clock to restore the farmlands and agricultural facilities that were damaged in the disaster, ramp up support for supplies of agricultural resources, strengthen the guidance for agricultural techniques, organize and arrange well the agricultural production for this winter and the spring next year, so that a bumper harvest would be secured next year.

The Baigou River is a key waterway in the Daqing River Basin that serves the role of discharging floods. Xi visited the Baigou River control project (the Zhuozhou section) to inspect the development of the project and listened to the report about the post-disaster reconstruction in Hebei Province regarding the key water conservancy projects there. Xi pointed out that the rivers in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region are inter-connected and that flood control and prevention in the region should be considered from an overall perspective to study in an in-depth manner the construction of a flood-control engineering system in the region. It is imperative to stick to systems thinking, coordinate the development of drainage basins and regions, properly tackle the relations between upstream and downstream areas, the west and east river banks as well as the trunk streams and tributaries. Efforts must be made to scientifically organize the construction of reservoirs, waterways, embankment, flood detention areas in accordance with their functions, so as to build up the overall flood-prevention capacity in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

On the dam, Xi kindly visited the construction personnel of water conservancy projects and the representatives of the PLA and Armed Police forces, militia reservists and fire rescue teams who had participated in the Zhuozhou flood rescue work. He said, "during this flood relief, all forces and people from all walks of life fought together to build a strong line of defense for flood prevention and relief, to protect people's homes, which has fully demonstrated the strong political strength of our Party and country. The people should thank you, the Party and the government should thank you as well!"

Before returning to Beijing, Xi told those in the company of him on his inspection tour and local officials that under the correct decisions and arrangements of the Party Central Committee, governments and departments at all levels have minimized the loss of the once-in-a-century flood disaster by taking effective measures. Post-disaster recovery and reconstruction involve a wide range of projects and large capital investment. Recently, the central government decided to issue an additional 1 trillion yuan of government bonds to support post-disaster recovery and reconstruction projects and improve disaster prevention, mitigation and relief capabilities. Party committees and governments at all levels and relevant departments must focus on solving real problems by doing their work on a down-to-earth manner, make sound planning and reasonable arrangements, use funds where they are indeed needed, promote high-quality construction of projects so that all projects will be built into popular ones, high-quality ones, and clean ones as well.

Cai Qi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, was on the inspection tour.

He Weidong participated in the relevant activities, and leading officials of the relevant central Party and government departments were also on the inspection tour.

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