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People's Daily Online>>China Society

TV services reach China's remote rural regions

(Xinhua)

14:07, April 14, 2012

LANZHOU, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Television is as indispensable as oxygen for Li Fuqiang, a 49-year-old herdsman in Gansu, an underdeveloped province in northwest China.

"Watching TV is the best way for me and my wife to kill the free time we have after grazing and get to know what happens elsewhere," said Li, whose family prefers news and legal channels as well as the station broadcast from Hunan Province, where their son attends college.

"In days without a satellite TV receiver, drinking and sleeping were all we had to do with our spare time," Li recalled of his humdrum life seven years ago. "No entertainment, and people felt bored and lonely."

Li's home village Songmutan is located in a remote part of Sunan county, which is mostly inhabited by China's Yugur minority and has a population of about 12,000. A bumpy 35-kilometer packway connects his village with a town in Sunan county, which is 600 km away from the provincial capital of Lanzhou and 1,800 km from the nation's heart of Beijing.

The distance and steep, rugged mountains prevented television signals from wireless transmission towers from reaching the village for years.

But things began to change for Li and most other villagers living in China's vast remote rural areas in the 1990s, when a project was initiated by the central government to help all farmers and herdsmen get access to TV and broadcast programs.

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