URUMQI - More than 40,000 households in remote areas in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have gained access to clear and various radio, TV programs this year thanks to a government-funded communication project.
Reception devices for satellite broadcasting programs have been installed for 36,716 households in the Hotan prefecture and 3,816 households in Tajik Autonomous County of Taxkorgan since the beginning of this year, officials said.
Ablet, a 43-year-old Uygur farmer in Luopu County of Hotan, said the county government offered his household a TV set for free in 2005, but he could only watch two programs via two channels due to poor signals in the remote countryside.
Last month, the government dispatched staff to install each household of his village for free a reception device worth 400 yuan (about US$58). Now, the beneficiary said he can watch 43 channels of TV programs and listen to 42 sets of radio programs.
"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."
In 2004, the country launched a project to send TV sets to tens of thousands of households in seven provinces or autonomous regions -- Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, Shanxi, Guangxi and Yunnan.
As of January this year, more than 90 percent of households in remote areas in Xinjiang have had TV sets.