Xi meets common people to greet them on Chinese New Year
Beijing: In a bid to cast his image as the common man's leader, China's new Communist Party boss Xi Jinping went round Beijing to meet common people including migrant workers, conservancy staff, police and taxi drivers to wish them on the Chinese New Year.
Xi, who would be taking over as President next month succeeding Hu Jintao, extended festival greetings on the Chinese New Year, being celebrated all over China on Sunday.
Xi was general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in November last.
At a subway construction site in Beijing, Xi met a group of migrant workers yesterday stating that public transport is "the direction for modern city development."
"It has become an important measure for treating environmental pollution, which caused lingering smog in the capital last month," he said, stressing on the importance of public transport to reduce vehicles on the roads.
He also urged more attention to be paid to the plight of migrant workers.
Migrant workers, whose numbers were stated to be around 300 million, represent an important part of China's workforce and they deserve attention and care from society, Xi said.
Xi urged employers to make proper arrangements for migrant workers during the festival to ensure that they have a meaningful and happy holiday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Xi also stopped at a police station to greet police officers and proclaimed his confidence in their ability to fulfill their duty to maintain public safety.
While greeting sanitation workers, Xi said the public should respect the city's cleaners and cherish the environment.
Xi also visited the state-owned Beijing Xianglong Taxi Co Ltd and met taxi drivers face-to-face, asking their views on how to make the industry better.
Xin Ming, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said Xi's visit reflects the new central leadership's determination to put the people first.
Ai Yiwei, a professor at the Party School of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the CPC, said that sticking to the "people first" principle and taking care of people's needs are essential for consolidating the fruits of China's reform and opening-up drive.