Chinese Premier visits workers, farmers in northeast China

10:13, January 03, 2010      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao conveyed new year greetings to workers, farmers, local residents and officials during his visit to northeastern Heilongjiang Province on the first two days of the year.

Braving the freezing weather, Wen visited the cities of Daqing and Qiqihar in Heilongjiang. It was Wen's third visit to Daqing since 2003.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C) tries a machine with local oil workers at Daqing Oil Field in Daqing, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Jan. 1, 2010. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

At Daqing oilfield, he said Daqing people had not only produced two billion tonnes of oil for the country, but also the invincible Daqing spirit which was kept well over the past five decades.

"Nowadays, we still need such spirit to cope with the international financial crisis," Wen said.

The premier then had lunch with workers and visited their dormitory.

He also inspected an industry park of service outsourcing in the city,which is looking for new points of growth in addition to exploitation of resources.

Wen encouraged the city to develop high-tech industry, agricultural products processing, service outsourcing and cultural industries.

While visiting a residential community, Wen said he paid great attention to people's livelihood, including housing, social securities and workers' income rise.

"While handling the international financial crisis, people's livelihood should be stressed," Wen said.

At a villager's home, Wen told locals that the government would increase the minimum purchase price of rice again this year.

He said that to narrow the urban and rural income gap, efforts should be made to improve rural migrant workers' conditions and lift farmers' living standard.

In a residential area converted from a shanty town, which now houses 1,470 families, Wen told a retired worker named Wang Decai that if the country's financial strength was strong enough, retirees' pension would continue to be increased.

He told workers of a machine tool factory in Qiqihar, which makes homegrown plane parts, that efforts should be made to improve innovation capability so as to make breakthrough on key technologies.

Source: Xinhua
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