Farmer Suggests New Govt. Focus in Meeting with Premier

CHINA - Premier Wen asked stakeholders for their opinion on the government's work. A pig farmer suggested greater focus on improved genetics and compulsory vaccination.
calendar icon 16 February 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Premier Wen Jiabao met with people from all walks of life over the past week to solicit their views on the government's work report, which would be submitted at the annual meeting of the top legislature next month, according to official sources in China.

Wen met with non-Communist party members, economists, socialists, business people, technology experts, educators, specialists from the health, cultural and sports sectors, as well as workers and farmers.

"We should feel more confident because the country's economic fundamentals and the optimistic trend unchanged," he said.

Thirteen grassroots representatives - some of them farmers, pig-raisers, migrant workers, college graduates, doctors and primary school teachers - were invited to the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in downtown Beijing last week by the premier to voice their opinions on government work.

Sitting beside an oval table, the 13 people, excited and nervous, all experienced their first face-to-face talk with Premier Wen Jiabao.

"Make yourself at home," Wen said, "as you should be hosts here."

He said he wanted to listen to more complaints and suggestions instead of compliments.

Qin Yinglin, a pig farmer from central Henan province suggested more efforts should be made to ensure compulsory immunization and promote better varieties.

The Henan Agricultural University graduate raised more than 100,000 breeding pigs annually and more than 500,000 lean meat pigs. Sixteen years ago, he only raised 22 pigs. He had been dubbed by the premier "college graduate 'hogman'".

Mr Qin attributed his success to the sound supportive policies. "This year I have got more than 4 million yuan (US$ 588,000) in sow subsidies. I hope the supportive policies will be stable."

Premier Wen assured him that the policies would be "not only stable but need to be perfect".

"How about pig prices recently?" Premier Wen asked.

"Down a little bit and the prices always fluctuate. But we hope the Premier's mood would not follow the prices," Mr Qin replied, raising a laugh in the room.

After more than three hours of discussion, the premier said grassroots representatives' suggestions were "of great help" for the government to learn about the overall situation in the country and "we should closely rely on the people to overcome difficulties, especially in the current financial crisis."

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