Premier Wen tells children to learn to love
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (4th L) dances with children during a celebration of the International Children's Day in Beijing, capital of China, June 1, 2009. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
As millions Chinese children celebrated Children's Day Monday, Premier Wen Jiabao shared a light moment with 100 young students invited to his office in downtown Beijing.
In two hours squeezed from tight schedule, Wen danced, sang and chatted with the children from all over the country. He encouraged the youngsters to study hard, and to grow up well-educated with loving hearts.
"It is love that brings you together and here today. I hope you understand what love is, how to cherish love and learn to love others," the 67-year-old premier, also a grandfather, told the excited children.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C) attends a celebration with children for the International Children's Day in Beijing, capital of China, June 1, 2009. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
The outing resulted from an initiative of Beijing's Zhongguancun No. 3 Primary School, which raised funds through student charity work to sponsor visits by children from other parts of China to the national capital on Children's Day.
More than 70 children, belonging to 55 ethnic groups, were invited from 18 provinces and autonomous regions. In a letter to Wen, they asked if they could meet him.
Their wish came true on Monday when they arrived at Zhongnanhai, the central leadership's compound near the Forbidden City in central Beijing.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd R Front) receives a calligraphy work presented by a child during a celebration of the International Children's Day in Beijing, capital of China, June 1, 2009. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)
Smiling Wen received a gift from the children -- a red scarf usually worn by the Young Pioneers. He showed the children an office used by Premier Zhou Enlai before he died in 1976, where the children recited an article in their textbook describing how the widely-respected statesman was dedicated to his work.
At an auditorium specially decorated with children's paintings, balloons and greeting cards, Wen listened attentively as the children discussed their trip to Beijing.
Sangye Lhamo, from Medog County in southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region, attracted the premier's attention because he knew Medog was China's only county without paved roads.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C) views the children's drawings during a celebration of the International Children's Day in Beijing, capital of China, June 1, 2009. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
"You must come from the remotest place compared with other kids here. How did you make it?" Wen asked.
Sangye Lhamo said they spent 10 days traveling, trekking over snow-capped mountains.
Wen said he hoped Sangye Lhamo's trip to Beijing would not be so hard in future, "because the government will build a road to your hometown from Lhasa (Tibet's capital) soon."
Shan Danleng's hometown, Leigu in Beichuan County, Sichuan Province, was devastated by the magnitude 8 earthquake on May 12 last year. But she told Wen that she and her schoolmates had moved into new classrooms last month, with the support of loving people.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C) leads the children for a tour of the Zhongnanhai leadership compound during a celebration of the International Children's Day in Beijing, capital of China, June 1, 2009. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)
"Today we gather here like a big family. It's all because of love," Wen said. "I hope you will learn to love your parents, your hometowns and your country. With love we can unite together to build a better future for our motherland."
He also told accompanying teachers and officials to use the true, the good and the beautiful as principles in education.
The young visitors each left with a Chinese language dictionary and a set of Chinese literary classics, all autographed by Wen.
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