BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the homes of impoverished villagers of the Yi ethnic group in the Daliang Mountains of Southwest China"s Sichuan province on Sunday, days before the country celebrates Spring Festival, its most important holiday.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, asked the villagers about their lives and discussed poverty alleviation with local officials and villagers.
For the sixth year in a row, Xi"s Lunar New Year inspection tour has taken him to the front lines of China"s war against poverty.
He visited northwestern Gansu province in 2013, northern Inner Mongolia autonomous region in 2014, northwestern Shaanxi province in 2015, eastern Jiangxi province in 2016, and Hebei province in 2017.
The poor have been Xi"s foremost concern. In his 2018 New Year speech, the word "people" appeared most frequently and he emphasized the "well-being" of the Chinese people, showing the president"s people-centered governance philosophy.
Chinese leaders have made it a tradition to visit ordinary people across the country ahead of Spring Festival, the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar.
During one of the Spring Festival inspections, Xi bought festival gifts before visiting old acquaintances in the village where he worked as an "educated youth." During other trips, he went to farmers" barns and kitchens, calculated revenues and expenses with villagers and offered advice on increasing income.
The trips reflect his concerns.
While holding discussions with lawmakers from Sichuan during the annual session of the National People"s Congress in March 2017, Xi said that it was a heartbreaking moment when he read about people from a village there who had to climb dangerous mountains every day.
One year later, he went to the mountainous area, Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, home to China"s largest Yi community. With a distinct language and culture, the Yi minorities are among the poorest in China.
"To lead the people to a better life is our goal. Not a single ethnic group, family or person should be left behind in the process of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects," Xi told villagers in Liangshan.
China is striving to become a "moderately prosperous society in all respects" by 2020, just before the centennial anniversary of the founding of the CPC.
That means all rural residents living below the current poverty line should be lifted out of poverty by 2020. It will be the first time in China"s thousands of years of history that extreme poverty is eliminated.
"It is our solemn promise," Xi said in his 2018 New Year address.
The number of people living in poverty in rural areas was reduced by over 10 million in 2017.
Xi has listed "committing to a people-centered approach" as one of the fundamental principles in his report delivered at the 19th CPC National Congress in October 2017.
When he presented the new CPC central leadership to the press on Oct 25, 2017, Xi said that the Party must remain committed to a people-centered philosophy of development and make steady progress toward enhancing the people"s sense of fulfillment and realizing common prosperity for everyone.