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71.9% believe Internet expression to become new channel for building Chinese-style democracy
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16:47, December 30, 2008

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In 2008, the world put China to the test, and the focus was on the Chinese government.

From the "red hearts over China" on MSN instant messenger during the Olympic torch relay, to the "coming together of loving care on the Internet" during the aftermath of the Wenchuan earthquake, the Internet, with its convenience and interaction, has increasingly become the widely-accepted channel for public opinion.

From central to local governments, many officials have started trial of E-governance and have begun handling official business online.

On the morning of June 20, Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee visited the People's Daily Online and logged onto bbs.people.com.cn to stage an online discussion with netizens for 22 minutes.

The bulletin board system (BBS) at one time became so overcrowded that it was almost impossible to log on.

Excited netizens even awarded the title "No. 1 netizen in China" to their "Big Brother Hu." Some even hoped that "Big Brother Hu" would write his own blog and register on QQ, a popular instant messaging tool in China, to further his communication with netizens.

According to a poll conducted by the China Youth Daily Social Investigation Center, 71.9% of the public regard the Internet as a new channel for building Chinese-style democracy, 68% think that it helps people put forward significant suggestions and solutions for the building of the country, and 57.3% believe that it contributes to closing the distance between the government and the public, establishing a people-first harmonious government.

Actually, a series of policy decisions made by the government this year concerning the people's livelihoods were based on public opinions from the Internet. At the beginning of this year, an investigation by China Youth Daily Social Investigation Center showed that most people (94.9%) agreed that public medical and health services should revert back to being part of public welfare.

By People's Daily Online

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