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Lawmakers, political advisors interact more with netizens


11:32, February 23, 2013

BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Before the annual session of the national legislature begins next month, lawmaker Li Dongsheng is encouraging netizens to offer constructive ideas regarding his proposals by offering them rewards.

From Feb. 13 to March 4, three netizens are selected daily for their contributions, with each receiving an air purifier worth 2,499 yuan (about 398 U.S. dollars), said Li, chairman and CEO of home appliance maker TCL Corp.

The National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the political advisory body, will begin their annual sessions in early March.

Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, has become increasingly popular in recent years among lawmakers and political advisors who wish to interact with the public.

Lawmakers and political advisors also use their microblog accounts to collect public views on economic and social development during the sessions, as well as post relevant news.

"As a third-term deputy, I will faithfully fulfil my duties. I believe drops of water comprise the sea and that public opinions are a driver of social progress," Li wrote on his microblog.

Many Chinese have used the Internet to air their views on political issues, as well as draw attention to topics that sometimes go unnoticed.

Li Yinhe, a sexologist from Beijing, has used her microblog to propose formulating a law that would legalize same-sex marriage in China, citing a similar bill adopted by the French parliament earlier this month.

Li Yinhe said Chinese society has become more open-minded and tolerant of homosexuality and gay marriage. She listed seven points to back up her proposal and called for lawmakers to take the proposal to the congress.

"I wait for the day when same-sex marriage becomes legal," netizen "Dadadejingcai" wrote in support of Li.

Zhang Liyong, president of the Henan Provincial Higher People's Court, said he will carefully read through every remark written by netizens on the court's official microblog.

Zhang, also a deputy to the national legislature, said he wants to hear more opinions from the public in order to come up with high-quality proposals.

"Sina Weibo is an important platform for obtaining proposal resources. Public interaction can make policies more reasonable," said Shen Yang, a professor of information management at Wuhan University.

He added that research in cyberspace can act as a supplement to traditional research.

"Voices on the Internet may be emotional, but they are true and to the point. A combination of grassroots opinions and ideas from lawmakers can bring more scientific conclusions," said the scholar.

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