Entrusted by General Secretary of CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao, senior Chinese official Zhou Yongkang has paid a visit to central China's snow-hit Henan Province to meet officials and common people and guide disaster relief work on behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council.
Snow and ice have 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.
Zhou, who is a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau, visited Xinyang City where people suffered the disaster most in the province and met traffic police officers and road administrators.
He also visited farmers and livestock breeders, accompanied by provincial Party chief Xu Guangchun and Governor Li Chengyu.
He urged local officials to safeguard the coal supply in mines and transportation to power plants and maintain safe production.
Zhou said that Henan is an important province which produces large amount of corn and coal for the country and also a transportation hub linking many parts of China.
He praised the provincial government who had made contributions to disaster relief in other parts of the country by opening all entrances and exits on expressways in the province and provided support to transit vehicles.
Henan also provided coal and electricity to other provinces despite its own power shortage and sent staffs and equipments to southern snow-hit provinces to assist disaster relief.
Zhou urged Henan electricity administrators to give priorities to power supply to schools, hospitals, financial organizations and agricultural production as well as people's living needs.
He also urged local governments at various levels to step up forecasts of weather and disasters and offer support to other seriously hit provinces after meeting theirs own needs.
(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2008)