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Premier spends New Year eve with disaster survivors

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-10 00:23

BEIJING - Premier Wen Jiabao spent the Chinese Lunar New Year eve with locals who survived a 2008 deadly earthquake and a 2010 devastated mudslide in northwest China's Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

Concerned with reconstruction of the disaster-hit areas, Wen traveled more than 720 km on Friday and Saturday to visit people of various ethnic groups, ahead of the Spring Festival, which falls on Sunday this year.

Premier spends New Year eve with disaster survivors

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) visits local residents in Zhouqu County, Northwest China's Gansu province, Feb 9, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

"I feel relieved when I see your life and production conditions have been greatly improved," the premier said, urging continuing development with better utilization of local resources and skill training so as to expand income channels.

Wen asked villagers about their expenses on house construction and the distribution of government subsidies. He also had dinner with villagers.

While inspecting an olive industry in the southern part of Gansu, he called for great development of the sector which has greatly boosted farmers' income.

In Zhugqu County, which was hit hard by a massive mudslide on August 8, 2010, Wen presented flowers to a monument in memory of more than 1,700 victims. It was the third time for the premier to go to Zhugqu after the disaster.

He said the county's reconstruction went well, with a "safe, beautiful and peaceful" Zhugqu replacing the mudslide-devastated site.

"We should respect nature, cherish life and always consider people's safety and interests as priorities," Wen said, calling on people of various ethnic backgrounds to unite as one and endeavor to make Zhugqu better.

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