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Hu Visits Children Ahead of Children's Day

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Chinese President Hu Jintao visited two primary schools in Beijing on Sunday, joining children in language classes, games and kite painting, and wishing them a healthy and bright future.

Hu made the visits on the eve of the annual International Children's Day, which falls on Monday and will be celebrated by about 250 million children under the age of 14 across the country.

Hu first went to Jushan Primary School, where 90 percent of some 700 students are children of migrant workers from outside the Chinese capital.

The boarding school is seen as a model of equal and quality teaching for migrant children.

Hu joined first grade children, who were learning Chinese idioms such as "When you drink water, think of its source." Satisfied with their understanding, Hu told them to learn to be grateful for what they enjoyed and to study hard.

During a handcraft session, the president was shown works made from recycled materials and paper. He happily joined several students in finishing a mosaic map of China, using pieces of egg shell.

"This is a good idea to use recycled materials to make handcrafts. I hope you become more aware of saving natural resources and environmental protection," Hu told the excited kids.

On the school's playground, the president's skill at kicking shuttlecock, a popular game among Chinese, won him applause.

He stressed children of rural migrant workers in cities should enjoy same rights to standard education so they can grow up equally healthy and happy as the children of urban residents.

During a visit to the Fangcaodi Primary School, an international school, Hu's attention was attracted by a group of first grade foreign students who were speaking fluent Chinese.

The smiling president listened them saying their names, ages and their home countries. He also acted as a teacher, discussing the differences between lemons and oranges.

Hu joined the children painting kites and doing makeup of traditional Peking opera. He also taught kids to make dumplings, a typical Chinese food.

Established in 1956, the school has more than 4,000 foreign students from more than 150 countries and regions. Many are children of foreign diplomats, experts and business people living in Beijing.

Before leaving, Hu told Chinese and foreign students to help each other and to make progress together for a better world.

Other senior Chinese officials also took part in activities on Sunday to celebrate Children's Day.

Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Political Bureau, attended an evening gala in Beijing that featured songs, dance, martial arts and acrobatic performances by young artists.

Chen Zhili, vice chairwoman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, China's top legislature, was invited to a national singing performance in Beijing.

Almost 1 million children will join activities in the next four months to sing patriotic songs that will be recorded and broadcast by China National Radio.

In a separate gathering in Beijing, Chen praised a charity program to aid girls who had dropped out of school because of poverty.

In 1989, the Children's Foundation of China, the All-China Women's Federation, the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Nationalities Affairs Commission, jointly launched the "Spring Bud Program" to pool donations from across the country to help millions of young girls who are forced to drop out of school.

The program has helped an estimated 1.7 million girls, mainly of primary and junior middle school levels, return to school in the past two decades.

Chen, who also chairs the All-China Women's Federation, told the meeting that the program plans to help poor female students to finish high school, as well as to provide technical training.

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2009)

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