BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday visited a community in Beijing and listened to residents' opinions on government work, and commented on his own performance.
A forum was held in Beijing's Niujie Street where Wen talked with neighborhood residents on various issues including ethnic affairs, education and grassroots healthcare.
Wen took a bow to express thanks for the public's recognition of the government's work, but also said he often blames himself for not performing his job well enough.
Niujie Street is an area largely inhabited by people of the Hui ethnic group.
When talking about issues on ethnic affairs, Wen stressed that the focus of the government's work in this regard is efforts to ensure ethnic equality and religious freedom as well as to respect customs and folkways of various groups.
He also said that he is concerned about the price of lamb and beef, which are major meats for Hui ethnic people, who are Muslims.
The price of such food went up due to increased demand, and the government will work to help low-income people in the Hui group, he said.
After listening to a retired teacher's criticism about the increasing burden on students, the premier admitted that the country's efforts to promote their all-round development is unsatisfactory.
The mounting pressure of schoolwork is exhausting not only for students but also their parents, Wen said.
He also noted the imbalance in the distribution of good education resources, resulting in students having to scramble and pay exorbitant fees for a good school's admittance.
He admitted the problems in the talent pool of high-quality teachers and the treatment of them.
A grassroots healthcare worker called for more government support for services in community clinics.
Wen said the doctors working at grassroots medical institutions should be respected. He said the government will work to ensure grassroots medical workers' treatment and promote training of general practitioners for clinics.
The premier also talked with residents about matters regarding community work, the rights of disabled people, pollution control and prevention and affordable housing construction.
People's livelihoods are a gauge of the government's work, he said.
"Great achievements have been made in the country's reform and development over the last ten years, but there are also occasions that has caused some discontent," Wen said. "I feel responsible for the imperfections."
He said, "The public's opinions will be included in the government work report, and it will improve its work in the future."
Wen continued, "Over the recent years, I have been working for the good of the people and made some accomplishments, but that was not enough to repay the kindness from the people. I have done my best, but still feel that I did not make it perfect enough."
He added, "I feel sorry and often blame myself for the imperfections in the government's work, and I hope you can forgive me for that."