Chinese feverishly engaged in e-Congress as lawmakers, advisors "thunder" (2)

13:14, March 11, 2010      

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THUNDEROUS REMARKS COME OUT OF GREAT HALL

As China moves ahead with political transparency, the Internet is offering a platform for common people to judge the country's lawmakers and political advisors, who are supposed to speak for the interests of the people and make constructive proposals for the country's sound development and social harmony.

For the country's two most important annual political events, what happens in the Great Hall no longer stays in the colossal architecture, thanks to the live broadcast of press conferences on the Internet as well as blogs and microblogs.

Netizens have even collected and filed all the "quotable quotes" of NPC deputies and CPPCC members, which are widely picked up by newspapers and websites.

There are even special collections of those shocking remarks like that of CPPCC member Zhang Jieting. The shocking remarks were jokingly called "leiyu," or "thunderous remarks" to show people maybe terribly shocked by such words. "Lei" means "thunder" in Chinese while "leiyu" put together is a homophone of "thunder storm."

It seems that no matter how uncomfortable the NPC deputies and CPPCC members might be, they have to face public scrutiny.

Yan Qi, another CPPCC member and CEO of a Chongqing-based company, came under much pressure after his proposal for closing all privately owned Internet cafes ran into strong opposition from netizens.

Yan had to later explain to the public that his proposal was based upon scores of letters from mothers who worried about their children spending too much time in Internet cafes.

Yu Hai, a sociology professor at Shanghai's Fudan University, said it was nothing new for lawmakers and advisors to act or speak illogically or improperly, but without the Internet, any impropriety previously stayed in the Hall.

"In the past, we could not get such information from newspapers or TV, but now it's everywhere on the Internet, and most importantly, we can comment on the way we like and share with others," Yu said.

Netizens, however, do not always concentrate on "thunderous remarks."

NPC deputy and Chongqing Municipality Party Chief Bo Xilai's honesty was hailed by netizens as "normal and good communications with the media and the public."

Asked about the case of a lawyer named Li Zhuang, who defended a gang leader but was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment himself for fabricating evidence, Bo said it was handled strictly according to the law and "we'd like to hear any comments on the case from the public."

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