Li: Re­vi­tal­iza­tion of ‘rust belt’ must push poverty fight

China Daily - - TOP NEWS - By HU YONGQI huy­ongqi@chi­

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang called on Tues­day for firm ef­forts to al­le­vi­ate poverty and im­prove peo­ple’s lives as China forges ahead with a cam­paign to re­vi­tal­ize in­dus­trial bases in the coun­try’s “rust belt”.

He made the re­mark dur­ing a two-day visit to Jilin prov­ince that be­gan on Mon­day in the im­pov­er­ished Zhen­lai county, south of the Greater Khin­gan Moun­tains, where tem­per­a­tures are lower than -20 C.

Achiev­ing vic­tory in tar­geted poverty al­le­vi­a­tion is a strate­gic ar­range­ment by the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, with Xi Jin­ping at its core, Li said.

Jilin has been re­lent­less in pro­mot­ing sta­ble eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment in re­cent years, show­ing the hope to re­ju­ve­nate old in­dus­trial bases in north­east­ern China, he said, adding that full re­vi­tal­iza­tion should be ac­com­plished un­der the guid­ance of Xi Jin­ping Thought on So­cial­ism with Chi­nese Char­ac­ter­is­tics for a New Era.

Dur­ing a visit to pover­tys­tricken Yinghua vil­lage on Mon­day, the pre­mier asked fam­i­lies about food, heat­ing, in­come and med­i­cal in­surance re­im­burse­ments. He also pre­sented them with gifts bought at a lo­cal mar­ket, and ex­tended his wishes for a happy Spring Fes­ti­val.

In the home of one vil­lager, Li sat on a kang — a tra­di­tional brick bed heated by a stove — and chat­ted with farm­ers, col­lege stu­dents, for­mer mi­grant work­ers and the heads of agri­cul­tural co­op­er­a­tives about the dif­fi­cul­ties they face.

The poverty al­le­vi­a­tion cam­paign should mean that “the kang of all poor fam­i­lies should be warmed on such a cold day”, he said. “Con­di­tions should be cre­ated to make ev­ery­body op­ti­mistic for a bet­ter life.”

When vil­lagers told Li about found­ing a cooperative to raise geese, he en­cour­aged them to fur­ther ex­pand op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­crease lo­cal in­comes by mak­ing agri­cul­tural prod­ucts and start­ing busi­nesses.

De­layed salaries for mi­grant work­ers was also a con­cern for the pre­mier. While vis­it­ing a long-dis­tance bus sta­tion in Zhen­lai on Mon­day af­ter­noon, he asked mi­grant work­ers re­turn­ing from Zhe­jiang, Jiangsu and Liaon­ing prov­inces where they had worked and whether they had re­ceived their full pay­ment.

Af­ter learn­ing that all of them had re­ceived their salaries, Li re­it­er­ated that em­ploy­ers who ma­li­ciously de­lay mi­grant work­ers’ wages must be black­listed.

The pre­mier called on the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity to help la­bor­ers re­ceive their de­layed salaries in Jan­uary last year dur­ing a tour of Lu­dian county in Yun­nan prov­ince.

At the end of 2017, the State Coun­cil re­leased an assess­ment stan­dard for pro­vin­cial re­gions to en­sure punc­tual pay­ment for mi­grant work­ers.

While in Zhen­lai, Li also vis­ited peo­ple liv­ing in shan­ty­towns that will soon be ren­o­vated as well as nurs­ing homes. He said proper mea­sures should be taken to help poor fam­i­lies and en­sure timely aid for those in ex­treme dif­fi­cul­ties.

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