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Premier’s special connection with shantytown renovation

Updated: Feb 22,2017 10:31 AM

Nine-year-old boy Gao Yubo, who by chance was caught on camera with then Vice-Premier Li Keqiang while he visited shantytown areas in February 2013, spent a happy Spring Festival in his grandpa Gao Junping’s new house.

In 2013, Premier Li, the then vice-premier to Inner Mongolia autonomous region, did not follow the given route on his trip, and walked directly into Gao Junping’s home in a shantytown area. Gao Yubo, who was a little boy then, suddenly came out of a closet behind Premier Li, and was filmed by the reporters.

Now he is a student in Grade Three, who loves English, PE class and playing football. “I hid in the closet when many people came in, then I came out because I felt out of breath in there,” the boy said.

After the Premier’s visit, Gao’s house became one that would be renovated, and he moved into a new house in November 2013.

The shantytown renovation has always been one of the Premier’s concerns. At the press conference after taking the office as Premier in March 2013, he promised to renovate all kinds of shantytowns in China, where more than 10 million families dwell.

In fact, this government term has renovated 20.36 million housing suits of poor houses, and helped 60 million people improve their housing conditions.

Shantytown renovation also became a necessary topic for the Premier’s inspections. In Gao’s house, he told local officials that for common people, housing is the top priority. He also stressed many times that China still has 100 million people living in shantytown areas, and there is no social fairness until this issue is solved.

When visiting a shantytown area in Taiyuan of North China’s Shanxi province on Jan 4, 2016, he stood in a narrow roadway and told officials that with people living in this poor situation, we still have a lot of work to do.