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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:59, March 16, 2007
Premier Wen, we have some questions for you
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Thanks to the Internet, communication with the country's premier is only a click away.

In the past two weeks, netizens nationwide have come up with a long list of questions in various forums for Premier Wen Jiabao, who will meet domestic and foreign press this morning in Beijing after the conclusion of the annual session of the top legislature.

Thousands of foreigners have also raised questions on the China Daily website, www.chinadaily.com.cn.

The premier said two years ago that he read questions online and expressed gratitude to the netizens.

One of those is Lao Lu, a farmer in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province. He asks the premier how the government will protect farmers' interests when some village officials sell their farmland for construction projects in the name of "building a new countryside".

Farmers' rights have turned out to be one of the major public concerns, along with corruption, education, the environment, medical care and soaring housing prices.

Another hot topic is rising medical bills. Of the 3,500 questions on www.xinhuanet.com, nearly a third are about the steep cost of healthcare.

An unnamed shop owner in Shandong Province says he spent all his savings on heart surgery but considers himself lucky because many low-income patients can only wait to die at home.

Some special groups also voice their hopes: Gays in Beijing wish the premier can help them avoid being socially discriminated.

Some netizens are interested in which websites the premier surfs, and whether he'd like to join an online dialogue.

Foreigners' primary concerns center on the rule of law and the environment.

But some seek advice for personal problems: A foreigner asked on chinadaily.com.cn whether there is a law that makes life easier for foreigners married to a Chinese because they often have problems getting a work or residence permit in the country.

Source: China Daily


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