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Leaders Join Children's Day Celebrations
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Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday marked Children's Day (June 1) with a group of disabled children and orphans.

At the Beijing Children's Welfare Institute, Hu and the children rolled "zongzi" or traditional glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and eaten to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival yesterday.

He was greeted with a paper flowers made by eight-year-old Nan Nan, a mentally disabled girl who is learning to speak and who has just learnt how to walk.

Helping to prop her up, Hu said the governments should improve the system and facilities to assist disabled children and orphans.

"They are the weakest and neediest group in society. They need the most care and love," he said.

Hu thanked institute teachers for their great contributions to the development of special education in China. 

He also visited Xisibei Kindergarten and urged school teachers there to teach the kids to love, study and labor and become builders of the country.

On the same day, Premier Wen Jiabao visited a Beijing elementary school where he sent an e-mail greeting to children in Tibet thousands of kilometers away.

At Shijia Elementary School, Wen was greeted with applause from more than 400 pupils from 10 urban and rural primary schools around Beijing at a celebration themed, "Common development for urban and rural regions under one blue sky".

Ding Yawen, from a school run for migrant workers' children, tied a red scarf -- symbol of the official children's organization the Young Pioneers -- around Wen's neck.

During a computer class, Wen sent email greetings to pupils at No. 3 Elementary School in Lhasa, Tibet, that read: "Study hard, grow up healthy and contribute to the country."

Wen also made "zongzi" with the children.

He watched a show performed by the pupils, and urged them to study hard and prepare for the country's modernization drive.

"It depends on us and you to achieve modernization and common prosperity of both urban and rural regions. But ultimately, it is up to you."

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2006)

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