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Chinese Premier Responds to Question from Public, US Teenagers

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, in an unprecedented move, responded to questions from the Chinese public and teenage students from the United States in Beijing Sunday. 

The general public, both home and abroad, have shown "great interest" in the Government Work Report he delivered to the national legislature and his press conference at the end of the legislative session, Wen said, noting that they have put forward many questions to him prior to the press meeting, including 54 questions from American teenagers.


Wen was speaking at a press conference with a group of Chinese and foreign journalists who covered the just concluded annual session of the National People's Congress.


In response to a question on his work, Wen quoted verses of late Chairman Mao Zedong and an ancient Chinese poet Qu Yuan (born more than 2,300 years ago) to express his determination to work harder for the country in spite of numerous difficulties.


"I'd like express my gratitude to the public by answering one of the questions," he said.


He said that he just received a letter from the United States written by more than 30 students from a Kansas high school who raised 54 questions.


"They inquired a lot about China's political, economic, cultural, social affairs and my personal life, including what my favorite food is, whether I practice martial arts and even what the size of my shoes," he said.


"They are turning their eyes to China today," the premier said, adding that he is also grateful to the "foreign friends who care about China's construction work." 


(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2004)

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