BEIJING, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Local governments in China are handling crises better than they were a year ago, according to a ranking list that was based on Internet analysis and published Thursday.
Local governments in "The Ranking List of Local Authorities' Response to Online Sentiment" scored 25 percent higher in the second quarter than they did a year ago, according to the public sentiment monitoring office of www.people.com.cn, a website run by People's Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
The public sentiment monitoring office rated local governments on their performance in responsiveness, transparency, credibility, punishment of officials and skill in online response.
Scores in transparency, government response and government credibility increased 20.2 percent, 14 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively, from the first quarter to the second quarter of the year, said Shan Xuegang, deputy secretary general of the office.
In the second quarter, the list considered 10 major incidents.
The government of Ma'anshan City, Anhui Province, ranked first for its immediate dismissal of a tourism bureau chief for attacking a middle school student after a quarrel on June 13.
The official slapped the boy in the face, seriously humiliating the boy and then arrogantly refusing to apologize. The incident angered thousands and onlookers stopped him from leaving the scene until the city's CPC chief proposed his dismissal.
The secretary of CPC committee of Ma'anshan City arrived at the scene within hours of the incident, mollifying the crowd and avoiding a possible mass protest, Shan said.
The worst handling of an incident was when teachers in Binhai County, Jiangsu Province, were partially denied access to a local online forum that was sometimes critical of the local education bureau.
"Local governments are acting more quickly than before and there is less shielding of officials," Shan told Xinhua in an interview.
In a sharp contrast with the past, officials responsible for most of the incidents on the list were punished, saving the governments' credibility, Shan added.
China had 384 million Internet users at the end of 2009, and the Internet is a common place for people to exchange opinions.