President Xi Jinping speaks with villager Wang Xiuying, 80, who made a herbal sachet that he admired and wanted to buy in the Xuzhou village of Mazhuang in Jiangsu province on Tuesday. Xi, on an inspection tour, paid 30 yuan ($4.50) for the sachet. (Photo/Xinhua)
President Xi Jinping highlighted the importance of developing the real economy on Tuesday during his first inspection tour since the Party's 19th National Congress ended in October.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, visited Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co, a leading part of China's construction machinery industry, based in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province.
As a big country, China must keep emphasizing development of the real economy, Xi said, adding that manufacturing is essential to the real economy, which should be driven by innovation and key technologies.
The real economy encompasses sectors concerned with producing goods and services as opposed to activity on financial markets.
At the company, Xi boarded the control cabin of a newly designed crane and asked about the function, production and price of the machine.
Xi was told that the crane was independently designed and produced by XCMG using more than 30 patents and sold in many developed countries. He encouraged the company to continue to boost innovation.
XCMG, founded in 1943, is the world's fifth-largest construction machinery company and is ranked 65th in the list of China's Top 500 Companies, the company said.
During the trip, Xi visited the village of Mazhuang in Xuzhou, where villagers produce fragrant sachets filled with herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine. Xi praised the design of the sachets.
"How much? I'd like to buy one to support your business," Xi said to 80-year-old villager Wang Xiuying, who makes and sells them as souvenirs.
Wang answered that it would be a gift for Xi, but the president still paid 30 yuan ($4.50) for the sachet.
At the village, Xi talked with Party members who were learning the spirit of the CPC's 19th National Congress at the office of the Party branch. The congress elected a new CPC Central Committee and came up with a blueprint for the country's development in coming decades.
Xi encouraged the members to play a leading role in advancing the village's development.
Members of a village orchestra performed a program about the Party's congress. After watching the performance, Xi said developing rural villages shouldn't focus only on increasing farmers' incomes but also on improving their spiritual outlook.
Xi also visited a wetland park built on the site of a former coal mine. Xi praised the local government's efforts to restore the area and protect the environment.
On Wednesday afternoon, Xi inspected a People's Liberation Army company where hero soldier Wang Jie served. In 1965, Wang, 23, died after using his body to cover a bomb that exploded in an accident during mine training, saving the lives of 12 soldiers.
The commanders and soldiers should learn Wang's spirit of being ready to fight difficulties and being brave enough to make the ultimate sacrifice, Xi said.