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Chinese VP calls on party members to lead reconstruction in quake-hit Yushu

YUSHU, Qinghai, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called on members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to play a leading role in reconstruction work in the quake-hit Yushu prefecture of northwestern Qinghai Province.

Relevant authorities should place safeguarding and improving people's livelihood in the quake zone on top of their agenda, and should focus on ensuring normal lives and work for the people before reconstruction was completed, Xi said during an inspection in Yushu Tuesday.

The vice president began his inspection in the quake zone by visiting Yushu's Hongqi Elementary School, where he encouraged the students to study hard to become "future talents for the development of the country, of Qinghai, and of the new Yushu prefecture."

Xi also visited a field hospital and a reconstruction site.

Reconstruction of housing should be given top priority, Xi said, adding that authorities should also provide local people with better public service, balanced industrial structure, improved infrastructure and social order, more prosperous ethnic culture development as well as enhanced environmental protection.

He also paid regards to members of the People's Liberation Army and the armed police who were currently engaged in quake relief in Yushu. He also visited a local temple and called on religious figures.

The vice president acknowledged that members of the CPC had played a leading role in disaster relief, and urged them to continue to make solid efforts in the resettlement of victims, maintaining social order, and post-quake reconstruction.

A total of 2,698 people have been confirmed dead, with 270 still missing after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Yushu on April 14.

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