More Chinese Farmers Have Access to TV, Radio

China is closer to hitting the target of providing all its villages with easy access to television and radio shows.

Since 1997, another 70 million Chinese farmers in more than 70, 000 villages have had TVs and radios in their homes, according to a national conference being held in Xichang city, southwest China' s Sichuan Province.

In 1997, as many as 150 million people in 100,000 outlying and mountainous villages did not have televisions or radios. To reverse this trend, the central government established a special fund of 250 million yuan (about 30 million US dollars), and provincial, municipal and autonomous regional governments have provided 750 million yuan (90.36 million US dollars) in matching funds to give all the country's villages TV and radio access within three years.

Liu Yichun, an official in charge of the project, said that the TV and radio-deprived population has dropped from 150 million to 80 million in just over two years.

Liu said that the number of remote villages which don't have TVs or radios in Sichuan Province account for one-eighth of the country's total.

By the end of March, the province had relayed radio and television programs to more than 11,000 villages, or 95 percent of its total.

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