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Chinese Farmers Talk with American Experts via Satellite
From 7 am to 9 am, October 19, Hua Erjun, Party branch secretary and village committee director of Matougang Village, Liulin Town, Zhengzhou City of Henan Province-a grassroots leader of urban China-talked "face-to-face" via satellite with three American experts with respect to questions on China and US-China relations.

The dialogue was realized under collaboration of three communication satellites, three ground stations, two SNG (Satellite News Gathering) vans and five satellite transmit corporations. More than 1000 villagers watched and joined in the talks on a large screen installed at the central place of the village in light rain.

In a two hours' time, Hua and the villagers enjoyed synchronous voice exchanges with the American experts, seeing clearly the expressions of the other side. They told a complete story of the village's development and, take it as an example, exchanged views with experts on subjects as China's rural children's education, family-planning policy, democracy building, and economic development.

The Matougang Village is a miniature of the great changes of rural China after the reform and opening up twenty years ago. Especially during the recent 13 years, the farmers, led by Hua, have transformed their poor village into a modernized one with a booming collective economy and beautiful ecological environment, an official of Zhengzhou said. Now living in two-floor garden houses and on rich bonus from village enterprises, the farmers are leading a life comfortable, healthy, and with every ethic and cultural progress made.

Watching the talks, the villagers couldn't hide their excitement. "It's so interesting, our director talks directly with American experts tens of thousands miles away. I would never have dreamed of that a dozen years ago". "Well, let American people see with their own eyes the new look of Chinese villages". "Thanks to the reform and opening up our village is really becoming a 'village of the world'"! They echoed and cheered each other happily.

(People's Daily October 25, 2002)

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