Senior Chinese leader Li Changchun has visited journalists who are still working in the front line of the quake zone.
"All you journalists have done their utmost in carrying out timely and full-scale reports on the quake relief work. You always go wherever is most dangerous. It's proved that people can rely on you," said Li to the journalists.
At Mianyang Radio and Television Center, Li, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, urged the leaders to ensure the safety of reporters and technicians while keeping the center in service.
Editors and reporters with Mianyang Daily have been working around the clock in tents and a garage after their main building was badly damaged during the May 12 quake. Li was deeply touched and expressed his appreciation for their professional spirit.
In additional, Li visited journalists from People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency, China National Radio, China Central Television among others. Li expressed deep gratitude for their professional achievements.
Li hoped they would take good care of themselves while continuing to report events to the world.
On Monday morning, Li went to the hard-hit Nanba town by helicopter. "The terrible earthquake has ruined your hometown and taken away your families. We are as sad as you. But we care for you, and we will help you rebuild a new hometown," said Li to the residents, holding a three-year-old girl whose grandmother died in the quake.
Li visited students from Beichuan High School on Monday afternoon. They were studying at a temporary school. During the disaster, many teachers and students in the school joined the rescue effort to save lives.
Li encouraged the children to concentrate on study.
"The old school is gone, and you are now facing many difficulties. We will build a more beautiful and solid school for you," said Li, chatting with students in a tent.
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 69,019 as of Monday noon.
(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2008)