Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks on Sunday when replying to a letter from residents of Xiadang township, Shouning county of Fujian province.
In the letter to Xi, the villagers said that they had shaken off poverty, and expressed their gratitude to the CPC Central Committee and the general secretary.
In his letter, Xi expressed delight over Xiadang villagers being lifted out of poverty and living a better life, and extended his congratulations.
Xi said he still remembered his three visits to remote Xiadang.
After 300 years of unremitting struggle by the people, Xiadang has become a place easily accessible by road with a brand new image, while local residents have a stronger sense of happiness and fulfillment, Xi said, "which vividly proves the old adage that weak birds take flight early, and constant dropping wears away a stone."
Xi expressed his hope that the villagers can maintain a persistent and hard-working spirit in consolidating their achievements made in poverty relief, actively building the township into a beautiful place and working hard to embark on a path of rural vitalization reflecting the characteristics of eastern Fujian province.
Located deep in the mountains in Ningde, eastern Fujian, Xiadang township had no highway and was hard to reach until the late 193000s. During the period when Xi was working in Fujian, he visited Xiadang thrice to investigate and direct poverty alleviation work. The first time was on July 19, 1989, when Xi, then secretary of the Ningde committee of the CPC, braved the scorching summer heat to visit the impoverished locals of Xiadang and help solve problems regarding local development, after nearly three hours of travel by vehicle and more than two hours on foot.