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Official calls for healthy online culture

(China Daily)

09:48, December 12, 2011

ZHENJIANG, Jiangsu - A senior government official is calling for authorities to "strengthen the construction and management of an online culture" and work to promote a "healthy and optimistic" online environment.

Wang Chen, minister of China's State Internet Information Office, made the remarks at a two-day national meeting that ended on Saturday. Attending the meeting were leading officials from provincial publicity departments, information offices, telecommunications regulators and public-security organs.

Wang told the participants to use "more forceful and effective measures" to build and manage cyber culture and promote the development of cyber culture in a "healthy and orderly" way.

Wang, also deputy head of the Communist Party of China Central Committee's publicity department, asked local governments to put more of an emphasis on the construction and development of the Internet in the midst of their pursuit of economic and social development.

He encouraged officials to use the Internet to guide public opinion and promote social values.

In addition, Wang vowed to further crack down on pornography, obscenity and vulgarity on the Internet.

Before the meeting, Wang, speaking at the 13th China International News Forum held in Zhangjiagang city, had said international news coverage plays an important role in establishing national soft power and said the press should take full advantage of the Internet and other forms of new media in their international news reporting. He said those technologies offer a fast means of communication and the ability to cover the news widely.

Wang's remarks came after he had said in late September that social networking sites had brought both conveniences and difficulties to social management.

Social networking sites, generally referring to micro blogs and Facebook-like services in China, have become important virtual places where people can gather to form social associations and share information in China.

Sina Weibo, the most popular micro blog service measured by its number of registered users, now has more than 200 million users.

China is home to the largest number of registered Internet users in the world, having more than half a billion. The rising popularity of micro-blogging has allowed parts of the population to express their opinions in ways that have never been seen before in the country.

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