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Reading room available in every Chinese village

(Xinhua)

09:22, September 28, 2012

TIANJIN, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- China has completed a cultural project aimed at building at least one reading room for rural people in every administrative village in the country.

A conference was held Thursday in the north China city of Tianjin to mark the completion of the project.

As of the end of August, China had invested over 18 billion yuan (2.84 billion U.S. dollars) in the construction of 600,449 up-to-standard reading rooms in the country's rural areas, and a total of 940 million books, 540 million copies of newspapers and 120 million copies of audio and video products have been distributed to these reading rooms, according to a document issued at the conference.

Moreover, some of the reading rooms have been equipped with film projectors, the document said.

Li Changchun, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, hailed the project's achievements in an instruction he wrote to the conference.

The farmers' reading room project serves the country's efforts to close the cultural gaps between urban and rural areas, provide the people with equal access to public cultural services and ensure rural people's basic cultural rights, Li said.

This project is also acting as an important platform for lifting the scientific and cultural literacy of people living in rural areas, Li said in the instruction.

The completion of the project also marks the accomplishment of a public service system in the press and publication industry that covers rural areas across the country, Li said.

Li also called for further management of, and better services at, these reading rooms.

The farmers' reading room project was first piloted in the country's western regions of Gansu and Guizhou in 2005, and was expanded on a national scale starting in 2007.

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