Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, joins a deliberation with deputies from Hubei Province at the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, capital of China, May 24, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
As the "two sessions" continue, Chinese President Xi Jinping specially joined a group discussion with national lawmakers from central China's Hubei Province Sunday afternoon, showing his great care for the COVID-19-hit province and its resumption of production.
After hearing the remarks of five deputies with the Hubei panel to the National People's Congress (NPC), the national legislature, Xi commended the vital contributions and enormous sacrifices made by the people in Hubei and its capital city Wuhan in fighting COVID-19, and expressed his sincere appreciation.
As the province hardest hit by the virus and with the longest span of restrictions, Hubei faces major difficulties in reviving its economy, Xi said, urging the province to accelerate production resumption while going all out to implement regular epidemic prevention and control.
HELP FROM AROUND THE NATION
After months-long arduous efforts, China has achieved a decisive victory in the battle to defend Hubei and Wuhan by rallying the support of the entire country, including sending over 42,000 medics nationwide to aid Hubei.
"We mobilized from around the nation the best doctors, the most advanced equipment and the most needed resources to Hubei and Wuhan, going all out to save lives," Xi said during his deliberations with deputies from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Friday.
Fighting COVID-19 became Xi's top concern after the epidemic hit Hubei. On March 10, he flew to Wuhan and inspected the epidemic prevention and control work. He has chaired a number of key meetings to direct the country's COVID-19 prevention and control efforts and production resumption.
Shifting to COVID-19 response on regular basis, the whole country is stepping up efforts to help Hubei return to normal.
CONTINUED POLICIES, MEASURES
Xi said Hubei should implement targeted policies for key industrial chains, leading enterprises and major investment projects, work hard to solve various difficult problems in production resumption, and help companies, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises solve their practical difficulties.
The central and state organs as well as central state-owned enterprises should continue to expand their support for Hubei's revival after the epidemic, implementing all policies and measures, and delivering results and benefits in Hubei on an early date, Xi said to the Hubei panel of lawmakers.
In late April, a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, China's top leadership, discussed and endorsed a series of policies supporting the economic and social development in Hubei.
According to the government work report delivered to the ongoing NPC session for deliberation, China will implement a package of policies to support Hubei's development, helping it ensure employment, public wellbeing and normal operations, and spurring the full recovery of economic and social activities there.
Chen Yilin, chairman of Hubei Long Boat Salinization Co., Ltd., has been busy planning to build a new diaphragm plant to reduce the cost of producing small bags of salt.
Through a few online applications, his company was granted a one-time credit of 50 million yuan (about 7 million U.S. dollars) for the project by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest commercial lender.
"Having such a large amount of credit so soon has really solved my urgent need," said Chen.
The China Development Bank, a major development finance institution, said the bank would increase its loans to Hubei this year.
After a pairing-up aid of provincial-level regions to help cities in Hubei fight COVID-19 in the past months, many provinces continued supporting Hubei in production resumption.
An online investment promotion event for Wuhan held on May 15, saw central state-owned enterprises sign contracts of 37 projects worth more than 180 billion yuan, which will help the city optimize its economic structure and gain new growth momentum.
China's foreign ministry will hold a global promotion event at a proper time for Hubei and explore a fast track for essential personnel to go to Hubei and Wuhan to support the production resumption, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters on the sidelines of the NPC session on Sunday.
Geely Auto Group in east China's Zhejiang Province said it has helped dozens of its suppliers in Hubei to resume work through various channels.
Chinese e-commerce firms such as Alibaba and JD.com have also participated in selling agricultural products for Hubei. Alibaba announced in April that it would purchase crayfish worth 1 billion yuan from Hubei.
SALES PROMOTION, JOB OPPORTUNITIES
In early May, nearly 1,000 students from Yangzhou Polytechnic Institute in east China's Jiangsu Province sold special agricultural products of Hubei online, including oranges and tea, to help Hubei recover.
"This is a famous orange from Hubei's Zigui County. It is seedless, juicy and sweet," said Chen Jiajia, a student of the institute with 1 million fans, advertizing the orange to the online audience.
Liu Jincun, Party chief of the institute, said the students' livestreams helped sell 105,000 kg of oranges for Hubei.
As a major labor export province, Hubei has about 6 million migrant workers. Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong, Guangdong and Fujian have been organized by the central government to help Hubei boost employment.
Shandong, which sent a medical team to assist Hubei's Huanggang City, took the lead in signing a cooperation agreement to provide more than 2,000 jobs for migrant workers from the city.
In mid-May, the first batch of migrant workers left Huanggang for their workplaces in Shandong. Weng Xinnian, a migrant worker from Huanggang, got a job at Jinan Dali Foods Co., Ltd. in Shandong.
"I'm so excited. The company provides dining and accommodation for us. I can earn around 5,000 yuan per month now," he said.
The Ministry of Education launched moves to pair up universities in Hubei with 76 universities across the country to help graduates in the recovering province find jobs or start their own businesses.