China's top leader, Hu Jintao, has pledged to maintain sound development trends and safeguard social harmony and stability, stressing: "Focus on the current earthquake relief, on one hand, and economic and social development, on the other."
The president and general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee made the call during his Sunday visit here to inspect two local companies that make pre-fabricated housing.
The president, who visited tent manufacturers in Zhejiang Province three days earlier, has shown great concern over the resettlement of people affected by the powerful earthquake that has claimed at least 62,663 lives.
The government has allocated special funds to build 1 million temporary apartments for more than 14 million people whose houses were damaged in the 8.0-magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks over the past two weeks.
When he was in Langfang, which is close to Beijing, the president was accompanied by Hebei CPC chief Zhang Yunchuan and Governor Hu Chunhua. The two factories he visited have received orders to produce 19,500 pre-fab houses within a short time.
During his stay, Hu was shown around so that he could learn about these temporary dwellings. He thanked the factory workers on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council (cabinet), while highlighting the importance of manufacturing housing for survivors.
"Go all out and try to complete the order early, so as to support the earthquake relief work with substantial efforts," he told the workers.
At the end of his trip, Hu met with local officials and company leaders.
The earthquake caused enormous losses of life and property, and the CPC Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission have mobilized all Chinese in the emergency, both military and civilians, the president said.
Saying it was a difficult, urgent task to get all the affected people properly re-settled, Hu urged the factories to overcome all difficulties to complete the contracts and give top priority to quality.
He also called for strenuous efforts to get the homeless re-settled as soon as possible and urged government departments at all levels to ensure the supply of raw materials, parts and finance to housing contractors.
(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2008)