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Premier Wen visits drought-hit Guangxi

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited drought-plagued southwest China regions ahead of the Spring Festival, comforting affected local people and directing relief work against the disaster.

During a trip to Donglan County and Bama Yao Autonomous County in Hechi City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on Friday and yesterday, Wen urged local authorities to beef up anti-drought efforts to ensure drinking water for people and livestock and meet the water demand in spring farming.

Hechi, a poverty-stricken region, hasn't seen rains since last August, leaving rivers drying up and local people with severe drinking water shortages.

"The Party and the government will help you overcome the drought disaster and address the difficulties, and ensure you have a happy Spring Festival," said Wen, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, to villagers. The Spring Festival, or Chinese lunar New Year, falls on today this year.

Wen said the affected areas should focus their work on drought relief. "We must first guarantee enough drinking water for local people and livestock, and at the same time make preparations for the spring farming." To fundamentally address the water shortage issues, overall plans should be made to build more water conservancy projects, so that water could be better reserved for dry times, Wen said, promising more fiscal support for the water projects.


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