Latest (probable) directive from the propaganda department (in these or other words):
“Dampen great nationalist expectations, but strike a chord with them nevertheless. Dampen expectations among the masses at large. Display the care and awareness of the Central Committee for those stricken by hardship. Spread a message of hope and glory, but modest glory.”
Former foreign minister (and probably still a central-committee member) Li Zhaoxing showed that kind of concern in global terms, in an interview with the Guangzhou Daily. Around the same time, Xi Jinping demonstrated his awareness locally, on December 29 and 30, 2012.
Main Link: Xi Jinping visits People in Straited Circumstances in Fuping Country, Hebei Province
Links within blockquotes added during translation.
Eradicating poverty, improving the people’s livelihood and to achieve common prosperity was the innate character of socialism, Xi Jinping told people in Fuping, Hebei Province, during a visit last year.
[…] we will pay special attention to people in straitened circumstances, we will care especially for them, and we will do our best to help them to dispell their worries and to solve their problems.
From December 29 to December 30, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping visited and comforted people in straitened circumstances in Hebei Province’s Fuping County. This picture (Xinhua Newsagency) shows him visiting the poor Tang Rongbin’s family in Luotuowan Village, Longguan town.
From December 29 to December 30, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping visited and comforted people in straitened circumstances in Hebei Province’s Fuping County, inspecting the [local] work to help the poor. This picture (Xinhua Newsagency) shows Xi Jinping in Gujiatai Village’s retail department, inquiring about the rural village’s everyday supply situation.
After the picture section, the actual article:
Xinhua Newsagency, Shijiazhuang, December 30, 2012 — the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping went to Fuping Country, Hebei Province, to visit and comfort people in straitened circumstances, and to inspect the work of helping the poor and development support there. He pointed out that eradicating poverty, improving the people’s livelihood and to achieve common prosperity was the innate character of socialism. We will pay special attention to people in straitened circumstances, we will care especially for them, and we will do our best to help them to dispell their worries and to solve their problems, with the safety and well-being of the masses always on our heart, and we will send the party’s and the government’s warmth to the innumerable homes.
新华社石家庄12月30日电 中共中央总书记、中央军委主席习近平近日到河北省阜平县看望慰问困难群众，考察扶贫开发工作。他强调，消除贫困、改善民生、实现共同富裕，是社会主义的本 质要求。对困难群众，我们要格外关注、格外关爱、格外关心，千方百计帮助他们排忧解难，把群众的安危冷暖时刻放在心上，把党和政府的温暖送到千家万户。
On December 29, Xi Jinping, in the freezing conditions of more then minus ten degrees C., travelled more than 300 kilometers by car and then arrived in Fuping County, in the depths of the Taihang Mountains. Fuping is an old revolutionary base area, in the border area of what was then the location of the Jin Cha Ji government. Fuping County is a major national poverty country [sometimes also referred to as key counties for poverty reduction]. Xi Jinping was perfectly concerned about the area’s cadres and masses, coming there especially before New Year to visit them.
Xi and his entourage didn’t fail to make the point that unforgettable achievements had been made from the once-revolutionary base, plus pointing out the need to improve lives which remained comparatively difficult (生活还比较困难), and that with confidence, the yellow ground [i. e. the loess ground] would turn into gold (习近平强调，只要有信心，黄土变成金).
Xi Jinping […] visited Tang Rongbin’s and Tang Zongxiu’s family, sat cross-legged on the kang with them hand in hand with the villagers, inquiring in detail about their incomes during the year, about food supplies, clothing and heating coal during the winter, the distances the children had to cover to attend school, and about conveniences and inconveniences when having to see a doctor.
One of the more concrete contents of Xi’s tour was the mention of the new rural cooperative health system (新型农村合作医疗制度).
To see Xi Jinping cross-legged on the kang, go to this story republished by the “Global Times”.
» How they cried, December 24, 2012