|China's Xi chats with impoverished villagers, migrant workers|
LANZHOU, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited impoverished villagers and migrant workers during a tour of northwest China's Gansu Province that lasted from Saturday to Tuesday.
The inspection tour by Xi, who is general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, came just before the Spring Festival holiday, which begins on Feb. 9.
He visited villages, enterprises and urban communities in Jiuquan, Dingxi, Linxia and Lanzhou to get first-hand information regarding the improvement of local residents' well-being, the development of western regions and the improvement of local officials' work styles.
During his visit, Xi extended Spring Festival greetings to all Chinese people.
Xi visited elderly CPC members and impoverished villagers in the village of Yuangudui in the city of Dingxi, as well as the village of Bulenggou in the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture.
Both regions are known for their barren land and poor natural conditions.
He shook hands with local residents, inquiring about their food supply, access to medical services and schooling for their children.
Xi said central authorities attach high importance to poverty alleviation and the development of areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, assuring greater government support to help local people get out of poverty.
Concerned about the water shortage problem that has challenged Gansu's economic and social development, Xi visited a major water diversion project in Weiyuan County Sunday morning.
He told officials that scientific planning and well-coordinated construction efforts should be made to ensure the project's success.
On Sunday afternoon, Xi toured a reconstruction site in Dongxiang County, where ground fissures and subsidence have been spotted following a landslide that occurred in March 2011.
Xi listened to reports about the reconstruction efforts and visited workers, urging efforts to ensure personnel safety and the project's quality.
During chats with migrant workers, he said the contributions and commitments made by migrant workers have aided China's efforts to build a moderately prosperous society.
Xi called for more care for migrant workers and more efforts to guard their legitimate rights and interests, saying "migrant workers' wages should not be defaulted on or embezzled."
While visiting a cafeteria in a senior citizens' center in Lanzhou, Xi served food and extended Spring Festival greetings to the seniors present.
With the Spring Festival holiday around the corner, Xi toured a local vegetable market, inquiring about supplies of festival goods for vendors and customers. He asked local officials to guarantee supplies in order to ensure a pleasant holiday.
While learning about the development of the Lanzhou New Area, Xi said propelling development with innovation will be crucial for transforming China's economic growth mode, as well as boosting its international competitiveness.
He said enterprises should make greater efforts to innovate and compete in fields related to state-of-the-art technology.
During a meeting with Gansu provincial government leaders, Xi asked the province to speed up social and economic development and stressed that officials at all levels should maintain a sound working style.
Xi further stressed that a good working style and personal integrity should be the criteria for selecting, promoting and managing officials so that those who are close to the people can be credited.
CARE FOR THE POOR
It has been a routine practice for top CPC leaders to pay visits to urban communities and villagers ahead of and during the Spring Festival holiday, which begins on Feb. 9 this year.
"By selecting Gansu as his first destination, Xi wants to show that the central authorities are concerned about the well-being of the masses, especially the poor," said Xin Ming, a professor with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.
Bordering the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Inner Mongolia Plateau and the Loess Plateau, Gansu is one of China's poorest provinces. The annual net per capita income of local farmers in 2012 stood at 4,507 yuan (723 U.S. dollars).
China has made remarkable achievements in both economic and social development, but many places in China are far from being rich, Prof. Xin said.
During the CPC's 18th National Congress held last year, the CPC set a goal of completing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020. "If some people are left out in the process of building a more prosperous China, then the goal will become merely empty talk," Xin said.
"As the CPC's top leader, Xi has to make sure that no one is left behind in China's modernization drive," he said.
During Xi's visit, he emphasized that officials should work hard and lead the people by exhibiting quality work styles.
Xi also asked CPC officials to head for less-developed areas where people are in urgent need of help.
"What China's leadership needs to do now is tackle pressing issues, convey a message of hope and confidence to the public and motivate the public to get involved in the country's development," Prof. Xin said.