|Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with a soldier on patrol at the border line in Arxan of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Jan. 26, 2014. Xi visited soldiers stationed along the Chinese-Mongolian border ahead of the upcoming traditional Chinese New Year. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping visited soldiers stationed along the Chinese-Mongolian border ahead of the upcoming traditional Chinese New Year.
Xi left Beijing early Sunday morning for the city of Arxan in Inner Mongolia by plane, which is about 1,000 km away from the Chinese capital.
From Arxan, Xi traveled to the Chinese-Mongolian border. His convoy drove through a vast and remote snowfield with outdoor temperatures of about minus 30 degrees Celsius.
On his way to the border, the president exited his car to chat with a team of soldiers on a patrol mission, expressing his appreciation to them for struggling in the harsh weather to safeguard the country.
He then stopped at a hilltop border post and inspected the garrison of a border troop company. At the garrison, he joined officers and soldiers for lunch at their canteen.
"I am very proud of our border troops. With you guarding the country's border, people feel safe and can concentrate on economic development, reform and opening-up," Xi said.
He stressed the great responsibility on border troops and urged them to exercise their duty through hard training and good operations.
As the border troops are stationed in an area inhabited by ethnic minorities, they should follow the country's ethnic policies, promote ethnic harmony and contribute to economic development and social stability of the local community, he said.