Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to flood-stricken areas this week has once again demonstrated the commitment to putting people first in governance.
Inspecting east China’s Anhui Province, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visited flood-affected residents, checked the progress made with the post-disaster business recovery and consoled families of those who died fighting floods.
After heavy rain triggered floods in many parts of southern China this summer, Xi has stressed giving priority to safeguarding people’s lives and property.
He delivered instructions to guide flood control efforts, convened high-level meetings on flood control and disaster relief, before personally visiting flood-stricken areas in Anhui.
Under the blazing sun, Xi on Tuesday afternoon walked into the fields and visited local residents living on a “zhuangtai,” a residential structure on raised ground that functions as a safe haven from river floods.
Local residents told Xi that they have access to stable power and water supplies, and have daily necessities delivered to them. As the floodwater receded, they have also resumed farm work.
“I have always been concerned about the people in flood-stricken areas,” Xi said, adding that he felt relieved when he saw people were safe, hopeful and had their livelihoods protected.
While visiting a local luggage company, Xi also learned about the post-disaster resumption of business.
On Wednesday, Xi met family members of those who died fighting floods when he visited a floodwater diversion zone in the county of Feidong.
Xi consoled the family members suffering from the pain of bereavement.
The people’s fighting spirit is a powerful weapon against floods.
During the inspection, Xi lauded the will and solidarity the people in the flood-stricken areas have demonstrated when fighting the disaster, and praised the military for rising to the challenge.
As long as our Party unites the people and relies on the people, we can overcome all difficulties and challenges ahead, Xi said.
As of Wednesday, dispatches totaling more than 1.2 million head counts from the People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Armed Police Force and more than 300,000 from the militia had been made in flood control missions in 17 provincial-level regions. They evacuated more than 170,000 residents, handled over 3,900 breaches and piping emergencies, and reinforced embankments of more than 900 km.
On Wednesday, Xi called people who died fighting the floods heroes and said they deserve respect from everyone.
“Every time a calamity occurs, heroes charge forward. This embodies the great spirit of the Chinese nation,” Xi said.
MAN AND NATURE
Besides their fighting spirit, the Chinese people now battle disasters with better infrastructure and more mature systems.
In Anhui, Xi underscored the importance of improving China’s capability to prevent and combat disasters in its effort to build a modern socialist country in an all-round way.
But Xi also said the struggle against disasters is one that must respect the laws of nature.
The Chinese nation has been fighting against natural disasters for thousands of years and has accumulated valuable experience. And the fight will go on, he said.
Inspecting the water situation of Chaohu Lake on Wednesday, Xi also underlined the need to live in harmony with nature, calling on people not to compete for development space with nature.
“In this fight, we should respect nature, conform to the laws of nature and live in harmony with nature,” he said.