Chinese President Hu Jintao visited quake victims in Longnan City in northwest China's Gansu Province on Sunday.
At a village called Lijiazhuang, 152 out of the 252 houses collapsed during the quake and the other 100 were damaged. Local villagers and soldiers were cleaning debris, already preparing to build a new hometown.
Hu went by every family and asked about their current situations. "Now we have food, water and subsidies offered by the government. We see hope after the government helped us. We will never forget that," said a local woman whose house fell down but no one in her family got hurt.
Hu said to 71-year-old Zhang Chenghan, "If there are any living difficulties, just tell us. We will find a way to solve them." Zhang, who was taking a rest under a blue tent with his legs injured, thanked Hu again and again.
After a two-hour-plus drive through the mountains, Hu arrived at the badly-hit Jiangjiashan village in Wudu District. He urged local government officials to build quake-resistant houses for the villagers.
At a tent school, Zhang Jianmin was teaching the grade-three kids to sing a song. During the May 12 quake, Zhang evacuated all his students to safe places but got himself injured.
Hu said to the children, "When the quake occurred, your teacher has saved your life. Let's give him a salute, O.K.?"
After hearing a resounding "O.K.", Hu, together with the children, held his hand up, while Zhang was seen tears in his eyes.
In other villages, Hu expressed his gratitude for the soldiers.
The 22-year-old soldier Li Yuan lost both his grandparents in the quake, but he continued to work in the front line. "You are a real soldier!" Hu said, holding Li's hands.
Hu went to a tent and shook hands with several Pakistani medical workers at the First People's Hospital of Longnan City. "When the Chinese people suffered the devastating earthquake, the Pakistani people expressed concerns, offered relief materials and sent a medical team to us. The Chinese government and people feel deeply grateful," Hu said.
The medical team consists of 28 people. Hu praised them for their excellent skills and all-out efforts.
Hu said the team symbolized the friendship the Pakistani people cherished for the Chinese people and expressed his wish that the friendship would last forever.
The team members said they felt Chinese people's hospitality and vowed to do their best for the quake victims.
Hu stressed that, while devoted to the post-quake reconstruction, the soldiers should also try to protect themselves.
Hu pointed out the relief work in Gansu was still arduous. He added the local governments should ensure local agricultural development and make scientific plans for post-quake construction.
Hu also urged local governments to create a safe and comfortable environment for local children's post-quake education.
(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2008)