Chinese President Hu Jintao Monday and Tuesday inspected reconstruction work and encouraged survivors to bravely face the music in southwestern Sichuan Province where a massive earthquake, centered in Wenchuan County, left more than 87,000 dead or missing last May 12.
Hu and Vice Premier Li Keqiang visited heroes and models of quake relief, people working on rebuilding the area and grassroots officials and the masses in quake-hit Mianyang, Deyang and Chengdu cities and Aba prefecture.
Hu praised the reconstruction efforts and encouraged them to make more contributions to rebuilding the quake-hit region.
In a rehabilitation and artificial limb center for the disabled in Deyang, jointly set up by the local association for the handicapped and the Hong Kong Red Cross Society, Hu, moved by the staff's meticulous care, said, "You've not only brought here rehabilitation techniques, but a loving heart as well."
Hu encouraged patients to cooperate with doctors, stick to training every day and bravely face the music.
He also helped Liu Chunyan, 37, who had both of her legs amputated after the quake, to practice walking. Liu wore artificial limbs and received rehabilitation training at the center.
Hu asked Liu to be strong and optimistic toward life.
The president also carefully observed an urban planning layout panel and a sand table model of the Beichuan County, which was flattened by the quake. Hu asked in detail about the progress of the reconstruction project.
He told workers that building the new Beichuan was a "landmark project of an overall post-quake reconstruction," and "scientific planning, meticulous designing, efficient and quality construction are essential."
Hu's car also cut the ribbon lining the newly-built expressway linking Dujiangyan City and Yingxiu Town, two of the worst-hit areas in the deadly earthquake, at a ceremony marking the road's opening to traffic. The new road is a fast track leading to the epicenter and is vital for reconstruction work.
In a modern agricultural model park in Dujiangyan, which was built with Shanghai's help, Hu told technological staff to promote agricultural technologies so that farming could contribute more to local farmers' income growth.
Hu also visited an airborne land army regiment of the Chengdu Military Area Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Five crew members of an Army helicopter of the regiment died when their craft crashed in the mountains during an earthquake relief mission last May 31.
The copter crew, headed by Senior Colonel Qiu Guanghua, had been working to rescue and evacuate survivors of the 8.0-magnitudequake.
The PLA regiment relocated 1,128 injured people after the quake and transported 5,566 others to safer areas.
Hu visited families of the five crew members, saying the five were "reflection of the Party's principle of wholeheartedly serving the people" and their achievement would be enshrined in the people's heart.
The president bowed deeply to their family members in a token of respect and acknowledgement.
Hu asked local government to step up reconstruction efforts and ensured economic growth, people's livelihood and social stability so as to embrace the 60th anniversary of the founding of the country.
On Tuesday, a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the catastrophe was held in Yingxiu. Hu addressed the ceremony.
(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2009)