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Deng tunes in to economy

PATRIARCH Mr Deng Xiaoping was so concerned about the country's economic health that he tuned in to watch a state-run television's economic programme every day.

Mr Deng's viewing habit was revealed by Mr Yang Weiguang, director of China Central Television, who told a mainland magazine that Mr Deng has become one of the programme's regular viewers since the station began to broadcast a 30-minute programme on China's economy last August.

According to a report by the China News Service yesterday, Mr Yang told the magazine that Mr Deng ''felt that the programme was very rich in content, informative and the narrative has good rhythm''.

However, the report suggested 88-year-old Mr Deng might be suffering from a hearing problem as it said he complained the narrators were speaking too quickly and suggested Mr Yang ''slow them down''.

''It will be more pleasant to watch if the narration can slow down a bit,'' Mr Deng was quoted as saying.

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