During the Spring Festival, many Chinese logged on the Internet to express their gratefulness to the leaders who, once again, spent the most important festival for family reunion with ordinary citizens.
President Hu Jintao, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, spent the Spring Festival in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Premier Wen Jiabao spent the Lunar New Year's eve in Jiangxi Province. Both regions had been heavily hit by the worst winter storm in five decades.
President Hu Jintao talks with local villagers in Bafang Village of Ziyuan County in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region during his inspection tour of the disaster-hit regions from Feb. 5 to 6, 2008.
"I was moved by the scene on TV that the general secretary helped a squad of soldiers to load relief supplies onto a helicopter," wrote a netizen on Xinhuanet.com. "It is truly admirable for the 66-year-old to do this for the sake of the people affected by the disaster."
It was the fifth year in a row that the president and the premier spent the festival outside Beijing with ordinary citizens.Hu spent the previous festivals in Hubei, Guizhou, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, and Wen in Henan, Shandong and Liaoning provinces.
"We have no idea how many households they have visited in the past five years, but their traces were all over China, and their hearts were with us ordinary Chinese," wrote another netizen on Xinhuanet.
On the same page, however, many netizens took the chance to call on local officials to learn from the leaders.
"There is only one general secretary and one premier, but thousands of ministers, provincial heads, mayors, county heads," one wrote. "The country will be full of hope had all of them been like Hu and Wen."
"In contrast to Hu and Wen, some lower-level officials are more distanced from the public. Their relations have been extremely discordant at grassroots levels," wrote one netizen.
(Xinhua News Agency February 12, 2008)