The central government should try a new channel for public supervision by opening Internet blogs to directly hear and solicit grassroots proposals and opinions, a Chinese political advisor suggested on Tuesday.
As the Internet offers an interactive, democratic medium for expression of ideas, a government blog can serve as an easily accessible platform where the public's appeals and opinions can reach authorities directly, and thus the central government should try the new approach in its drive to build social harmony, said Mao Yulin, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, the country's top advisory body.
Via the blog, the government can seek suggestions on the issues that the public are most interested in and concerned with, said Mao, adding public opinions can inspire solution-seeking officials and thus help boost the country's reform.
Free expression of public opinions on the blog can also help the central authorities spot discipline violations and corruption, Mao said.
There should be a full-time administrator of the government blog who is supposed to closely watch and pack up messages from netizens, she said.
Mao suggested the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the National People's Congress, or the country's top legislature, and the CPPCC National Committee also launch similar blogs.
Noting the Internet is becoming a new approach to grassroots democracy, Mao said the government blog can help promote the country's democratic construction as long as it is well managed.
China had 137 million Internet users at the end of 2006, among whom 20.8 million were bloggers, according to a latest Internet survey.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2007)