Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has extended greetings to the "left-behind" children of rural migrant workers in cities ahead of the Children's Day, which falls on June 1.
During a visit to northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Wen visited the home of Yang Saike, a primary school boy in a village of Xingping City.
Yang, whose parents were working in the coastal province of Fujian, thousands of kilometers away, was cared for by his grandparents. His parents fail to go home even once a year.
The premier embraced Yang and looked through his exercise book, which was full of notes, even on page margins, and praised his diligence.
Talking to other children, Wen expressed relief on learning their schooling and care were guaranteed.
"You are so pretty," Wen said to Liu Mengqi, a seven-year-old girl living with her grandmother. Liu's parents were also working in the city.
"Have you been to school yet?" Wen asked two other girls.
"We are attending the pre-school class," said one.
"Mom and dad at home?" Wen asked. The children shook their heads.
"Children cannot see their parents very often, which is a new problem in the countryside. We should give them more care and love," said the premier to accompanying officials.
With rapid economic development, more rural young chose to work in cities and left their children with grandparents or relatives back home, said Wen.
The premier urged local governments, the Communist Party of China committees at all levels and rural grassroots organizations to establish effective mechanisms for protecting and caring for rural children at home and freeing their parents in cities from worries about their children.
The number of "left-behind" rural children have reached 20 million in China and the number is still rising as their parents continue to move into cities.