President Xi's concern for ethnic minorities
China has 56 distinct ethnic groups, many of which have been living in remote areas of the country from many generations.
How to improve the quality of their lives has been a big concern for President Xi Jinping for some time.
In 2015, President Xi's first visit of the year was to the mountainous province of Yunnan in South Western China.
In a hotel there, he was host to a special guest, a man from the Dulong ethnic minority who had written to Xi Jinping telling him the good news about the construction of a road in his home village.
The county of Dulongjiang, where this villager lived, is one of the most remote and isolated regions in China.
In 2014, a road was laid down through the mountains, allowing the people of the Dulong ethnic minority to travel more easily into the outside world.
Meeting the villager in person, President Xi said that the central government would never forget their well-being, no matter how far away they lived.
"I'm very happy today. You have come a long way to get here. Even though it's winter right now, there are no more traffic blockages caused by heavy snow as in the old days. The population of Dulong ethnic group may be small, only some 6900 people, but you are still members of our big family of 56 ethnic groups. We now all shoulder the responsibility to realize the country's great rejuvenation and Chinese dream. No ethnic group can be left behind," President Xi said.
The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region covers one sixth of Chinese territory.
It's populated by Chinese Han, Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other 44 ethnic groups.
In April, 2014, President Xi Jinping went to the Kashgar region of southern Xinjiang and visited local Uygur families.
He looked carefully at residents' homes, sheepfolds, orchards and farm machinery and talked with them about their livelihoods.
"On this occasion, I have come simply to see if the welfare policies made by the central government satisfy the local people. All the policies of the party should be made and implemented on the basis of satisfying and benefiting the people," Xi said.
During the visit, Xi Jinping stressed that ethnic harmony and unity in Xinjiang should be the top priority, given the multi-ethnic circumstances of the region.
"Ethnic unity is a lifeline for people with different ethnic backgrounds. It's also the foundation of Xinjiang's development and progress, the common will of all 1.3 billion Chinese people. We should take good care of ethnic unity as we take care of our own eyes; cherish ethnic unity as we cherish our own lives. All ethnic groups should embrace each other as if we are the seeds of the pomegranate," Xi noted.
The Xihaigu area of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is one of the most poverty stricken densely populated areas of China.
Xi Jinping was especially concerned about poverty alleviation work there.
In 1997, when he was deputy party chief of Fujian Province, Xi Jinping inspected Ningxia and suggested setting up a poverty relief project with aid from Fujian, to help people move from Xihaigu to a more habitable village.
Xi Jinping named this village after the initials of two provinces: Min-Ning.
Twenty years later, the village has been transformed from a migrant settlement of only 8000 people to a modern town with 60 thousand residents.
Visiting the village once again in July, 2016, Xi Jinping said he was happy to see the big changes that had taken place there.
"In 20 years, Min-Ning village has become Min-Ning town. Your yearly income has also increased from 500 yuan per person to over 10 thousand yuan per person. That's an almost 20 fold improvement. I'm really delighted to see you living better lives and see smiles on all your faces. I hope your lives will improve even more and that Ningxia can soon reach its target of throwing off poverty and creating more prosperous lives for its people," the Chinese leader said.