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Internet offers netizens a new voice

11-25-2010 10:46 BJT

LONDON, Nov. 25 -- The Internet has become an increasingly important platform for the Chinese to express opinions on government policies and social issues, a senior Internet regulator has said.

Liu Zhengrong is the deputy chief of the Internet Affairs
Bureau of the State Council Information Office.
(Photo/China Daily)

"You can compare China with Western countries. Chinese people have easy rein to express their opinions," Liu Zhengrong, deputy chief of the Internet Affairs Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO), told China Daily.

The Internet has satisfied Chinese people's demand for information, enriched their lives and opened a convenient channel for people to express their ideas, and to observe and participate in state affairs, Liu said.

Liu made the remarks at the end of the Third China-UK Internet Roundtable, an annual event co-hosted by the SCIO and the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

According to official figures, China has 420 million registered Internet users and the coverage has risen to 31.8 percent of the total population. China has the world's largest Internet population and its coverage has surpassed the average world level.

In China, it has become a common practice for local governments to solicit public opinion before publicly releasing important policies. Sometimes a post on the Internet that is representative of public views can attract attention from senior decision-makers, who will then reply to it and even make a new policy based on it.

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