Premier Wen Jiabao: Resolve people's petitions

20:23, January 25, 2011      

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One week before the Chinese lunar new year, Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday led a group of about 10 State Council ministers hearing the complaints from rural farmers and migrant workers who come to Beijing decrying illicit home demolishing, unpaid wages and scant injury compensations.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (1st R) talks with a petitioner during a rare visit to China's top complaints department Jan. 25, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)

Braving the winter freeze, Premier Wen visited the State Bureau for Letters and Calls, the top government department dealing with ordinary people's petitions, according to a report by the Xinhua news agency.

It was the first time a Chinese Premier has had face-to-face communication with petitioners in Beijing since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, said the Xinhua report.

Wen also delivered a speech to more than 50 local government officials who have done a good job to listen to the petitioners' complaints and help them get a redress.

"Our government is a government of the people, and our power is granted by the people," Premier Wen said. "Respect the opinions of farmers, give them reasonable compensation, and protect their rights."

Talking to the farmers and workers, Premier Wen said: "Please don't hold anything back, and give me the facts."

The petitioners heard by Wen and government ministers included a stall holder whose property was demolished, farmers whose land was confiscated and homes demolished for development, and a coal miner disabled in an accident in 2002 who complained of scant compensation.

Premier Wen said the government should expand channels for the public to make suggestions, to create conditions for the people to criticize and supervise the government.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (1st R) talks with a petitioner during a rare visit to China's top complaints department Jan. 25, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)

Various administrative procedures should be made public and all administrative behavior should be put under social supervision, so as to ensure administrative power is exercised transparently, Wen said.

Wen said letting officials conduct face-to-face communications with petitioners can help solve public complaints timely and at the grassroots level, according to Xinhua.

An Jun, a petitioner from Tianjin, east of Beijing, told reporters: "I've never thought I would be able to talk to the Premier up close. I felt deeply the people-friendly and practical working style of the Premier."

Wang Aiguo, a petitioner from Hubei Province, said, "I hope officials from various levels can all act like our premier and listen to our opinions."

By People's Daily Online


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