President Hu Jintao has urged local officials to make greater efforts to fight desertification and improve the living conditions of impoverished people in areas hit by drought.
Hu made the appeals during his inspection tour to Ningxia, a sandy and dry autonomous region in northwest China, from Wednesday to Saturday.
"We should strengthen our efforts on desertification prevention and control by relying on the power of the public and advanced technology," Hu said.
He asked local officials to continue with their efforts by sticking to the environmental improvement goals and contributing to the construction of a "green wall" in the country's western regions.
Hu visited families and village clinics in poverty- stricken Xihaigu, and urged officials there to do their best to accelerate the development of the area and improve living standards for its people.
China has 174 million hectares of sandy areas, mostly located in northern and western regions. They affect the lives of 400 million people.
(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2007)