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Remote areas linked up

MORE than 40,000 households in remote areas in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region now have access to various radio stations and TV channels thanks to a government-funded communications project.

Reception devices for satellite broadcasting programs have been installed in 36,716 households in Hotan Prefecture and 3,816 households in Tajik Autonomous County in Taxkorgan since the beginning of this year, officials said.

A 43-year-old Uygur farmer in Lop County of Hotan surnamed Ablet said the county government offered his household a TV set for free in 2005, but he could only watch two channels due to poor reception in the remote countryside.

Last month, the government dispatched staff to give each household in his village a free reception device worth 400 yuan (US$58). Now, the beneficiary said he can watch 43 TV channels and listen to 42 radio stations.

"With the device, our family can watch TV while having meals," said another farmer in Ablet's village. "The various programs not only improve our quality of life, but also help us to find ways to get rid of poverty."

As of January this year, more than 90 percent of households in remote areas in Xinjiang had TV sets.


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