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Senior Chinese leader visits eastern province, calls for all-out efforts to fight winter storms
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07:47, February 03, 2008

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He Guoqiang, a senior leader of the Commuinst Party of China, said the needs of the people must come first during a visit to the snow-hit eastern Jiangxi Province.

"The disaster in Jiangxi is still developing. We are facing a tough task," said He, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee's Political Bureau. "It is our most urgent task to fight the disaster and carry out relief work."

He, the eighth top leader of the CPC to venture into the field to join the relief efforts, has been in Jiangxi since Wednesday. He has been entrusted by Chinese President Hu Jintao to direct disaster relief work and condole local residents.

He Guoqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, visits Jiangxi Province to direct disaster relief and condole local residents.

"Party and government leaders of all levels shall be on the spot of the most-affected regions," He said. "They shall put the people's needs first."

In the past two weeks, unusual freezing weather, icy rain and heavy snow has hit most of Jiangxi, affecting traffic, power supply and people's daily lives.

A new round of heavy snow has fallen in northern Jiangxi since Thursday evening. By Saturday morning, 66 provincial counties were blanketed by at least two centimeters of snow. The snow was thicker than 10 cm in 21 of the counties.

He visited the airport and the Nanchang railway station in the provincial capital upon arrival and inquired into the operation off lights and trains.

Noticing a newborn baby carried by his mother waiting to board a train, He talked with the woman, Tan Xiaohui, and helped her with the child's woolen cap.

He told Tan to take care of the child and herself and the other passengers to keep warm while wishing them a safe journey home.

His second stop was the bridge across the Yangtze River in Jiujiang, a major juncture of a trunk road.

He shook hands with soldiers and police who were de-icing the road and keeping traffic order. He also talked with drivers and passengers who were waiting to pass the bridge and handed out food.

A relief camp has been set up beside the bridge, providing food, drinking water and medical service for stranded drivers and passengers.

He was glad to learn the camp is running around the clock.

"I hope, through your work, passengers will not suffer cold, hunger, thirst and illness," he said.

Disastrous weather has cut off several sections of the provincial power grid. On Thursday, He visited Miaozhi Village in Jiujiang where technicians had been repairing an electricity transmission line for eight days and nights.

"You have made great contribution to restoring power supply to the people. Take care of yourself," he said while holding the hands of a technician.

At Lianhua and Jiangxiang townships, He dropped in on several rural families whose business had suffered from the storms.

He asked Yin Zhongming, a strawberry farmer, and Liu Chunjiang, who raised ducks, about their damage. He encouraged them to restore production as soon as possible with assistance from the local government.

The local government shall try its best to guarantee supply of power, gas, water and daily necessities, he said.

"We shall also start planning rehabilitation as early as possible and offer people preferential policies, and financial and technical assistance."

Source: Xinhua

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