China has established more than 30,000 libraries in rural areas since 2006 in a move to bridge the "information gap" and help the farmers develop business opportunities, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Thursday.
Jiang Li, vice Minister of Civil Affairs, said China started a program of establishing libraries in communities for urban residents in May 2003 and extended it to the rural areas last year.
More than 66,000 libraries with some 2.2 million books have been built since then, Jiang said.
Jiang said China will establish 30,000 to 50,000 libraries in rural areas and 6,000 in urban areas this year.
China plans to establish a total of 200,000 libraries in rural areas by the year 2010.
(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2007)