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Wen: We're watching secessionists moves
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-15 05:39

The premier, who called himself "the son of the Chinese people," admitted that the government had failed to adequately tackle some problems that affected ordinary people's livelihoods.

"What upsets me most during my work in the past three years is that I haven't been able to better solve such problems as health care, education, housing and work safety," said the premier.

Wen also acknowledged that many of the more than 750 million farmers are suffering injustices because of the illegal seizures of their farmland.

"We must exercise and enforce the strictest land protection system and safeguard their right to independently farm their contracted land," he said.

The premier noted that reasonable proceeds from land transfers should go to farmers while promising to "mete out harsh punishment" to officials who violate the law to forcibly seize farmland.

Turning to Sino-Japanese relations, Wen stressed that they would not improve until Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi stops visiting Yasukuni Shrine, a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

He said Koizumi's repeated visits to the shrine, where notorious war criminals are worshipped, greatly hurt the feelings of the people in China and the rest of Asia.

"Pending a solution to this issue, the China-Japan relationship can hardly develop in a smooth way," Wen said.

Defying criticism and opposition from China and the Republic of Korea, Koizumi has made five visits to the shrine since taking office in 2001.

Wen urged Japan to take practical steps to improve bilateral ties.

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