Senior Chinese leader Li Changchun visited injured children at a hospital and quake-affected students at a tent school in quake-hit Mianyang City in the southwestern Sichuan Province Sunday afternoon. He wished them a happy holiday on Children's Day.
Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, also offered school supplies to the children as presents.
At Mianyang No. 3 People's Hospital, Li visited Mu Jingxiao, a girl who was rescued after being buried among building debris for seven hours, and expressed his appreciation for her bravery.
Li gave out radios, school bags, cartoon books and stationery to the quake-injured kids who were receiving treatment. He encouraged the doctors and nurses to continue to do their utmost to take good care of the children.
At a tent school where a computer class was going on, Li said to the children, "during the disaster, you were all brave enough to endure the pains. Some of you saved other friends, and some of you continued to study. We see our country's future in you. We feel your strength."
Zhao Yue, a grade-six girl whose parents both died in the quake, gave Li 1,000 paper storks, the auspicious bird symbolizing long life and health, made by her class.
Li also expressed his appreciation for all the teachers who risked their own lives to save children in the quake zone.
He arrived in Mianyang Sunday afternoon to direct quake relief work. He was also to visit local residents and convey his condolences to the quake victims.
Li was accompanied by Liu Yunshan, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and director of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee.
The death toll in the earthquake that jolted Sichuan Province and some other areas on May 12 rose to 69,016 by Sunday noon.
(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2008)