China's top political advisor, Jia Qinglin, called on governments in snow-hit regions to take effective measures, strengthen leadership and unite people of all walks of life to combat the unprecedented natural disaster.
Jia Qinglin shakes hands with a senior resident in snow-torn Shucheng County of Anhui Province February 1, 2007.
During a visit to eastern province of Anhui from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, visited railway and bus stations, power supply companies, farm produce markets, vegetable production bases and rural households in Hefei, the provincial capital, and Liu'an city.
On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, Jia extended regards to officials and members of the public who had been fighting the effects of severe weather.
Jia urged making disaster relief the top priority.
Jia met a wide range of people ranging from passengers stranded in bus and railway stations to rural farmers. He was accompanied by the Anhui provincial Party chief Wang Jinshan and Governor Wang Sanyun.
The snow disaster has been the worst in recent decades and has caused coal and power shortages, Jia noted. He asked local officials and power grid controllers to use electricity economically.
The snow has been falling in east, central and south China for more than a fortnight. It has caused deaths, structural collapses, blackouts, accidents, transport problems and livestock and crop destruction.
Jia stressed that local governments should maintain normal supply of gasoline and natural gas to ensure that urban residents had access to energy.
The top political advisor asked local officials to pay attention to living conditions at the grass roots and work together to fight the disaster.
Jia also encouraged advisory bodies at the local level to offer more suggestions for disaster relief.
(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2008)