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Xi instructs Party to put people first
By:China Daily
update:October 23,2017

Oct. 23, 2017 -- Rural official Pan Kegang said what General Secretary Xi Jinping said at his village two years ago has been a motto to remind him to work for the people.

Whether the Party's policy is good or not depends on whether it makes the people smile or cry, Xi said during an inspection tour of the impoverished village of Huamao in Guizhou province in June 2015.

Pan, a delegate to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, recalled the words when Xi attended a panel discussion with Guizhou delegates on Thursday as part of the congress.

Pan, presenting Xi with a photo showing the enormous changes taking place in the once-poor village, said, "We will work harder to give people more smiles."

This people-centered philosophy is an important part of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era unveiled at the congress.

In the report delivered at the opening session on Wednesday, Xi urged all Party members to "always breathe the same breath as the people, share the same future and stay truly connected to them".

Xi reiterated the pledge that he made five years ago when he assumed the post of general secretary of the 18th CPC Central Committee in November 2012. "The aspirations of the people to live a better life must always be the focus of our efforts," Xi said.

Yu Liufen, Party secretary of the village of Yanbo in Liupanshui, Guizhou, said that she had noticed that Xi mentioned the word "people" 203 times in his three-and-a-half-hour report.

"It reflects the deep feelings and tight bond that General Secretary Xi has with the people," she said, adding that poverty-reduction measures have greatly improved the people's livelihoods in remote mountainous villages.

When she traveled to Beijing to attend the Party's 17th National Congress 10 years ago, it took her four days to get from her village to Beijing via the provincial capital Guiyang. But now, it takes her only 45 minutes from her home to reach the nearest high-speed railway station. Then, she can get to Beijing in only eight hours on the fast train, she said.

Xi has attached great importance to poverty reduction and made a solemn promise to eliminate the country's poverty in 2020 to achieve the Party's goal of building a moderately prosperous society. The ongoing congress has reaffirmed the target.

At the end of last year, China had 43 million impoverished people living in rural areas, after 55 million people were lifted above the poverty line between 2012 and 2016.

"What I care most about is the people living in difficulties," Xi said in his 2017 New Year's address.

During a panel discussion with lawmakers from Sichuan province in March, Xi said his heart was broken when he heard several years ago that some students in Liangshan prefecture had to climb cliffs without any safety equipment on their way to school.

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