On Dec 5, Deng Zhuping, a fruit farmer in East China’s Jiangxi province, received a letter along with 200 yuan from Premier Li Keqiang.
The money was for the two boxes of oranges that Deng sent to him on Nov 25. “I picked the oranges in my orchard. I hoped the Premier can taste them and share my pleasure of a good harvest,” he told Beijing News on Dec 7.
“Thank you for your oranges,” the Premier said in the letter. “I’m glad that farmers in your village have a good harvest this year. I hope you could maintain the quality and credit of your products.”
In fact, Premier Li has bought many things during his domestic visits since he took office, spending at least 952.8 yuan ($138.5), according to public records.
The things he spent the most money on are books, costing him 393.8 yuan.
In April, when he visited Chengdu, Southwest China’s Sichuan province, he bought a book — Autumn Dream in the Old Chengdu by renowned Chinese writer Liu Shahe — and two series of postcards from a local bookstore.
“The Premier said brick-and-mortar bookstores should be supported as he paid,” said the owner of the bookstore.
Other books he has bought include Hotel and The Evening News from Arthur Hailey, a British/Canadian novelist, and Have a Bath, written by Yang Jiang, a Chinese writer.
Apart from books, he also paid for presents and local specialties that he received.
When he visited Hunan University in Central China in July, Premier Li insisted paying for two products that a college entrepreneur wanted to give him as presents. “They should not be free. The deal must be fair,” said the Premier.
In April 2014, during his visit to Haikou, South China’s Hainan province, he walked into a local convenience store and talked with sellers about their business. Before he left, the Premier bought a box of coconut chips and a box of egg rolls, spending 19 yuan.
“Sorry to interrupt your business. I think I should buy something since I came in here,” he said to the cashier.