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Beijing Communications

Telephones: 105 million (1998 est.).

Telephone system: Domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centres, and all townships; antiquated internal service with public telephones in hotels and shops displaying a telephone unit sign. It is often easier to make international phone calls from China than it is to make calls internally.

Country code: 86

Outgoing international code: 00

Domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place.

International: satellite earth stations-5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1Intersputnik (Indian Ocean Region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean Regions); several international fiber-optic links to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Germany.

Fax: A growing number of hotels offer fax facilities but often only incoming. Rates are generally expensive.

Post: Service to Europe takes about a week. Tourist hotels usually have their own post offices. All postal communications to China should be addressed Peoples Republic of China.

Radio stations: AM 569, FM NA, shortwave 173 .

Radios: 216.5 million (1992 est.).

Television stations:

209 (China Central Television, government-owned; in addition there are 31 provincial TV stations and nearly 3,000 city TV stations) (1997) .

Televisions: 300 million .

Main national newspapers:

There are 1,775 newspapers. Renmin Ribao is the CCP daily. The main English-language daily is the China Daily and China Travel. There is also the weekly news magazine Beijing Review, with editions in English, French, Spanish, Japanese and German. National newspapers include The Peoples Daily and The Guangming Daily, with many provinces having their own local dailies as well.
As a result of a more open, market oriented, peoples access to non-official sources of information has increased. TV ownership is rising with living standards. Many sets, especially in the populous south and east, are tuned to Hong Kong stations. The growing number of satellite-dish owners has an even wider choice. These changes have undermined but not ended censorship. Recent efforts to control satellite-dish ownership have had limited success, but the printed media remain on a tight rein. Papers considered undesirable have their licenses removed in periodic clean-ups. Millions still buy, but few now read, Renmin Ribao (Peoples Daily), with its editorials defending revolutionary purity.