[ Post and Telecommunications ]
In 1994 China had 60,400 post offices serving 5,244 million kilometres of postal routes. Aggregate postal and telecommunications volume totaled 68.8 billion yuan, a 48.7 percent increase over 1992. In 1994, China began using seven new optical cables, having completed all 22 optical cable projects stipulated in the Eighth Five-Year Plan (1991-1995) one year ahead of schedule. China also built or expanded 19 ground satellite stations. An additional 19.56 million circuits were added to the telephone exchange capacity, bringing total telephone exchange capacity in urban and rural areas to 61.62 million circuits. Programme control has come to 97 percent of China's urban telephone networks, and 80 percent of long-distance transmission is digitalized. The numbers of pagers and mobile telephones reached 10 million and 1.57 million respectively. At present, 40-odd cities provide international express mail service, and some cities have developed international automatic telex, data transmission, facsimile, and TV programm transmissions in China. Now Beijing, Shanghai and other cities can communicate with all countries through international communication setellites over the Indian and Pacific oceans.