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President Celebrates International Children's Day

Chinese President Hu Jintao watched a song and dance performance by children from the Little Red Star Kindergarten Art Troupe on Sunday. The performance was part of the International Children's Day celebrations.


Hu said he was very happy to celebrate this special day, which is celebrated in China on June 1 every year, with the children.


"Children are the future of the country as well as the continued development of the Party's cause," said Hu.


Also present were military leaders Guo Boxiong, Cao Gangchuan, Xu Caihou, Li Jinai, Liao Xilong, Chen Bingde, Qiao Qingchen and Jing Zhiyuan.


The kindergarten was set up in Yan'an, the then revolutionary headquarters of the CPC-ruled Liberation Area, in 1940, and was known as Central Kindergarten at the time.


Chinese Leaders Show Concern over Orphans and Disabled Kids


In pre-Children's Day celebrations, top Chinese leaders Wu Bangguo and Wen Jiabao expressed their sincere concerns for orphans and other underprivileged children in a letter to a school for orphans.


Their actions show the government's high regard for children, and they both called for action by society to follow suit.


Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) or China's highest parliamentary body, wrote a letter to north China's Liaoning Orphan School, congratulating it on its 40th anniversary, which fell on May 25.


"The country's, society's, teachers' and schoolmates' love will provide the parenthood you've been deprived of," Wu said in his letter. 


"You should study hard and serve society in the future."


In other pre-Children's Day celebrations, Premier Wen visited the China Rehabilitation Research Center for Deaf Children on May 27.


"Can you hear me, little friends?" Premier Wen asked a group of deaf children equipped with hearing aids.


"Yes," the children answered eagerly.


He then turned to the teachers and said, "I can see they are quite confident, thanks to your considerate treatment and instruction."


"Children are the people deserving most concern from the society, especially those who are disabled or who have other difficulties," the premier said.


"I didn't bring any gifts to the kids, because I think what they need are not expensive toys, flowers or cakes, but a vivacious childhood, and the teachers here have offered them this most precious gift," Wen said.


Some 360 million of China's 1.3 billion people are children.


"China has 10 million disabled children, including 800,000 with hearing problems, and the figure increases by 23,000 every year," the premier said.


"The society's concern over the children will lead to their increased self-confidence," he said.


The center, established in 1985, has received more than 30,000 children with hearing problems and has rehabilitated nearly 1,000 kids.


"To some extent, the rehabilitation of deaf children refers to psychological recovery," said Wan Xuanrong, a teacher who has worked at the center for 20 years. "Despite daily language and hearing practices, we concentrate on developing the children's overall mental faculties."


Wan, whose son suffers from a hearing disability, gave up her career as an artist 20 years ago to help deaf children.


"In order to teach my son to utter the word 'mother,' I had to repeat it more than 20,000 times," she said, explaining the difficulties in helping a deaf child to speak.


"I believe children can perceive the difficulties in one's life through this process, and will grow up to be persons with perseverance," said the premier, his eyes welling up with tears.


"Disabled people need government support, and also the help of warm hearted people," Wen said.


(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2005)

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