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Xi vows better protection of children

(China Daily)

08:40, May 31, 2013

President Xi Jinping joins children at Beijing Children's Palace on Thursday. Various activities were held ahead of International Children's Day, which falls on Saturday. PHOTO BY LI Xueren / Xinhua

President Xi Jinping has said the country will guard against, and crack down on, any words and deeds that harm children.

The top leader was in Beijing on Wednesday to celebrate International Children's Day, with 1,600 children representing areas from across the country.

Xi greeted the children at Beijing Children's Palace, and one child asked the president to bend down, before putting a red scarf around his neck.

The red scarf is a symbol of the Chinese Young Pioneers, an organization with 130 million children members, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

During the visit, Xi chatted with children and watched them singing and dancing.

He also told children to respect and honor hard work, and talked with them about other issues such as environmental protection.

Xi particularly encouraged children from the earthquake-affected areas of Lushan, Wenchuan and Yushu to study hard and foster a creative spirit, which could help them come up with ideas which would contribute to the rebuilding of their homes.

"It is the greatest wish of everyone, that all children can grow up strong and healthy," he said.

Xi called on the Party and the government to ensure they care about children and juveniles of all ethnic backgrounds, and create better conditions for their study and development.

Teachers and parents should take the responsibility for children's education, he said, and the whole of society should prioritize the care of children and juveniles.

"We will firmly prevent and crack down on any words and deeds that would damage children's interests or harm their physical and mental health," Xi said.

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