LANZHOU, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Premier Wen Jiabao urged governments at all levels to improve the livelihoods of people residing in rural and urban areas on the eve of Chinese Lunar New Year.
Wen made the remarks during his visit to northwest China's Gansu Province on Saturday and Sunday.
Premier Wen visited a community with more than 1,500 households in the city of Qingyang on Saturday. He encouraged local residents to produce more and better handcrafted sachets with traditional Chinese cultural characteristics.
One of the residents, Ma Fengmei, after losing his job, established a training school that has taught more than 1,000 farmers agricultural skills.
Premier Wen praised Ma's unyielding efforts to make a better living. "I am quite moved by your spirit to establish such a school. Your efforts could prevent more people from becoming unemployed."
Wen said although most people living in Gansu had no problem buying basic necessities, the average income was still comparatively low. The government should improve their livelihoods and increase their income by developing the economy, he added.
The Premier stressed that the government should well protect farmers' interests in land circulation transactions.
"Circulation transactions must be conducted based on farmers' free will, and they must be given fair compensation," Wen said.
On Jan. 22 morning, Premier Wen arrived at Huan county on the edge of Muus Desert. Wen told local government officials to pay more attention to rural households facing economic difficulties at villager Xia Yanbin's home.
Wen said the county has rich oil and coal reserves but still has problems with clean water supply, road and railway transport.
Wen asked local residents to be confident about the future since the government construction and exploration would not only promote local the economy but also increase tax income and employment opportunities.
At Shibali village in the county, Premier Wen promised local residents that the government would ensure clean drinking water. Wen also joined villager Meng Guangxian's family in eating dumplings at lunch on the eve of Chinese Lunar New Year.