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Vice Premier Congratulates 96% of Villages Reached by Telephone

Chinese vice premier Huang Ju on Sunday made a telephone call to an on-the-spot meeting on telephone reaching village, congratulating on the use of telephone in 96 percent of Chinese villages.

The Ministry of Information Industry on Sunday announced that up to now, China's 96 percent of administrative villages, or 49,000 villages, have access to telephone, at an on-the-spot telephone-reaching-village meeting, held in Yan'an city of northwest Shannxi Province.

Huang spoke highly of the achievement via telephone and required the departments concerned to further improve rural communication facilities.

He said China entered a crucial period of building up a well-off society in an all-round way. The fifth plenary meeting of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) had put the work of dealing with issues relating to agriculture, rural areas and farmers on the top of work agenda.

Speeding up the construction of rural communication facilities is one of the important measures to solve the issues on agriculture, rural areas and farmers, an important responsibility for governments and an obligation for communication departments, he said.

"Over recent years, rural communication development made great progress, as more than 40,000 administrative villages have telephones. The use of telephone will help farmers broaden horizon and have easy access to information," Huang said.

Huang also had a talk with Song Youfu, farmer in Ansai county, Yan'an city, Shannxi Province, over telephone. Huang asked in detail the local economic development and the living status of local farmers, as well as the development of local communication and telecommunication industries.

He said the government would continue to stipulate favorable policies for boosting rural communication facilities, so that an increasing number of farmers could afford using telephone and the gap between city and countryside could be narrowed.

(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2005)

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