Top Chinese leaders yesterday marked International Children's Day by calling for a better education for the younger generation. Hu Jintao, the youngest member of the Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee, presided over a mass rally held in Tiananmen Square to celebrate the event. In an address to the youngsters, Mr Hu, 55, stressed that they must strive to become 'qualified builders of, and successors to, the socialist cause with lofty ideals, moral integrity, a good education and a strong sense of discipline'. Mr Hu said that cadres should deal with youth work from a 'strategic' point of view and provide young people with better education, especially their 'moral integrity and ideological awareness'. The former head of the Communist Party Youth League also called for better legal protection for juveniles and a crackdown on 'acts that endanger their physical and mental health'. China passed a law three years ago to safeguard the legal rights of women and children amid growing public concern about abuses in the family, workplace and elsewhere in society. The Education Law was passed in 1995 requiring local governments to set aside a portion of their annual budgets to provide nine-year compulsory education for young people. The Government's one-child family-planning policy has been blamed for creating a huge army of abandoned children in China, especially in the countryside where parents still prefer boys to girls and the authorities were too poor to feed and clothe abandoned baby girls.