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TV show draws China closer to Kyrgyzstan viewers

By Zhang Yi in Beijing and Mao Weihua in Urumqi | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-14 09:43
Xinjiang TV host Adyl Ashym shows the letter of thanks he received from Kyrgyzstan national television officials. Photo provided to China Daily

Xinjiang TV host Adyl Ashym said he was pleased in May to receive a formal letter of thanks from Kyrgyzstan national television officials for his 15 years of efforts to introduce China to Kyrgyzstan's people through a daily TV program.

The 44-year-old anchor, of the Kyrgyz ethnic group in China, speaks the same language as people in Kyrgyzstan. He joined the Xinjiang Radio and Television Station in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, in 2003.

In 2004, he became the host of a new TV program, China Today, which is broadcast daily in the Kyrgyz language via satellite on Kyrgyzstan national TV.

The program runs 60 minutes, with a 15-minute special report or documentary on Chinese culture, economy, history, tourism, education or daily life and a 45-minute episode of a Chinese TV series.

The program team adapts videos from China Central Television and other television stations and dubs them into Kyrgyz. Adyl and two other anchors dub the videos, and sometimes he replaces the hosts in the original videos.

"Over the past 15 years, we've received many emails and phone calls from the audience in Kyrgyzstan," he said. "They like our programs, and many are surprised at China's rapid development."

Adyl recalled that years ago, when they broadcast reports about Chinese railways, he received a phone call from an amazed viewer who said, "China is so great that trains have been connected to Tibet".

After their reports on the opening of the China-Europe railway, the program team received many phone calls from audience members who expressed hope that the train would pass through Kyrgyzstan.

Their most popular shows are agricultural programs featuring stories of farmers prospering through innovation.

"Many called us and asked for a rerun," Adyl said. "Farming is not that developed in Kyrgyzstan, so they are curious about Chinese farmers' experiences in becoming wealthy."

Programs that feature Chinese medicine and health care also are popular. "Some viewers from Kyrgyzstan want to take their families to China for treatment after watching and approach us for help," Adyl said.

Adyl said he has helped three patients from Kyrgyzstan, assisting them in contacting hospitals in Urumqi and booking hotel rooms for them. When the Kyrgyz patients arrived in China, he accompanied them and translated for them.

Adyl said many Kyrgyz businessmen visit Xinjiang to buy agricultural machinery, daily necessities, clothing, furniture and building materials. Some contact him through the TV program's phone number. He also has helped them with translation.

"If those people have family members or acquaintances visiting Xinjiang, they give them my phone number. Once, a guy even asked me to take him to visit Hainan province," he said.

"I'll try my best to help. I like to make friends. When I visit Kyrgyzstan, they also treat me well," he said. "It also helps establish the image of Chinese people abroad."

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