• President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, two of China's highest-ranking officials.

President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, two of China's highest-ranking officials. (Photo : Reuters)

The Liping market vendors welcomed a very special guest on Friday, Feb. 13, as they prepared for the large number of sales before the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid a visit to the county market, which is located at southwest China's Guizhou Province, bringing with him Lunar New Year greetings to the ethnic community and stopping to shop for a few snacks.

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Li greeted the locals and asked some questions about the county market's good supply, trade and food security as he took a stroll on the market street.

He watched the lanterns, spring scrolls and the wide array of products all set for the upcoming Chinese New Year and remarked that "the New Year is much stronger here in small towns."

"I'm going to visit some poverty-stricken families in the afternoon and I want to bring some New Year's gifts with me. What are the must-haves during Spring Festival here?" the premier asked the vendors at the biggest market of the Liping county, situated somewhere in Qiandongnan and Dong autonomous prefecture that also serves as a traditional home of the Dong ethnic group.

The market has about 500 booths and stalls and is considered as the major grocery provider for the 100,000 residents of downtown Liping county and neighboring villages.

When he was just about to leave, Li sent a digital balance to the manager of the market and asked him to ensure the fair trade, which happens to be the key to business vitality.

He showed the manager of the market about "fair balance" and noted that "fairness is the blessing of market."

Li said: "Business prospers only when trades are fair; when the buyers benefit, the sellers benefit as well. Thus everyone will live a better life."