Home / News

Presidential seal of approval

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

Updated: 2015-03-12 07:27:11


Rural experience

Xi's questions and suggestions are based on the decades he spent working in a number of provinces, and on the nation's specific plans for development, including high-quality growth, the eradication of poverty, environmental protection and the rule of law.

Take Guangxi for example. Xi understood deputy Luo Zhaoyang's comments about eradicating poverty in a village in Baise because he visited the village in 2010 when he was vice-president, and he began his career in a village in Shaanxi, a province where millions still live in rural poverty.

Xi's repeated inquiries about poverty levels, and a series of visits to impoverished areas since November 2012 underscore the urgency of the task ahead. There are only five years left for China to realize its goal of building a comprehensive and affluent society by 2020. However, more than 70 million people are still living in conditions of abject poverty, and the government has pledged to reduce the number by more than 10 million this year.

Delegates at the meetings Xi attended didn't shun discussion of thorny issues such as poverty, and the interaction between the nation's top leader and those charged with putting the government's plans into practice will help improve communications, which is expected to yield results. Xi, who took notes from time to time, said he had been inspired by the meetings, and asked officials from relevant ministries to carefully study the advice offered.

Laughter and applause

Xi's deep experience of life outside the major urban centers also lightened the mood at the meetings, triggering laughter and applause from the delegates.

"You must be a member of the She ethnic group," he told Lan Nianying, a deputy from Jiangxi, when he saw her colorful headdress.

"I am so pleased you can tell that I'm a member of the She ethnic group," said Lan, one of the many thousands of She people who live in the landlocked province.

Xi was unlikely to mistake Lan's identity, because he spent more than 17 years in Fujian province, one of the major centers for the She people, one of 56 ethnic groups in China, outside of Jiangxi.

On March 4, Xi, for the first time as the top leader, participated in a joint panel discussion with political advisers from the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League and the All China Confederation of Taiwan Compatriots. He delighted the delegates by using the shared dialects of southern Fujian province and nearby Taiwan to illustrate cross-Straits bonds.

Contact the writer at zhaoshengnan@chinadaily.com.cn

What they said

To meet with President Xi on March 8 was the best gift for International Women's Day. I come from a poor rural area and brought a proposal for the eradication of poverty. Xi's commitment to developing the regions where the country's ethnic groups live is a real boost and helps draw' attention to the lives of people in poverty-stricken regions."

Wei Liping, an NPC deputy and artist from Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region

Xi asked two detailed questions during my speech, which only lasted about 10 minutes. One concerned industrial projects in my city, and the other was about flood protection. He also offered advice about the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. He said he had never been to Jiujiang, so I extended an imitation to him to visit our city on the Yangtze River."

Yin Meigen, an NPC deputy and leading official in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province