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Nation out to deliver first-class service

[ 2009-05-20 11:38]     字号 [] [] []  
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Changes to the Postal Law aims to speed up China's mail service. The current service can see letters to villagers in remote parts of the country take as long as a month to arrive.

One of the reasons why letters have taken so long to turn up is the fact that more than 4,000 townships do not even have a post office - meaning villagers must go to neighboring townships to collect the mail.

But snail mail should take a leap forward after the newly revised Postal Law, passed in late April, comes into effect on October 1.

The law is looking to support postal services in rural areas.

The State Postal Bureau plans to provide a post office in each township by 2012, said Da Wa, a senior official with the bureau.

In the three decades following reform and the opening-up of China, the number of townships with postal offices has fallen, Da said.

"It is because many rural postal offices were closed for losing money," he said.

China Post Sichuan branch, for example, has more than 11,000 postal delivery routes in rural areas, which together cover 180,000 km.

However, only 45,000 km can be reached by motor vehicle. More than 132,000 km are serviced by letter-carriers traveling by foot or bicycle. And some 3,000 km of the 180,000 km of routes can only be reached by horse or donkey.

Each of the 4,891 rural postal offices in Sichuan earns 90,000 yuan a year on average, but spends 170,000 yuan on delivering the post.

The rural postal offices - two-thirds of China's 60,000 post offices are "rural" - have lost nearly 400 million yuan a year in Sichuan alone, China Post News reports.

The revised Postal Law stipulates that the government must subsidize money-losing rural post offices, ensuring villagers should see an improved service.


1. How long can the current postal service take for letters to arrive to villagers in remote parts of the country?

2. When will the newly revised Postal Law come into effect?

3. Why were many rural postal offices closed?


1. A month.

2. October 1.

3. For losing money.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Nation out to deliver first-class service

About the broadcaster:

Nation out to deliver first-class service

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.