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Internet free speech 'protected by law'

[ 2010-09-27 10:53]     字号 [] [] []  
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The central government said on Sunday that its citizens' right to freedom of speech on the Internet is protected by law, and netizens can voice their opinions "in a wide variety of ways on the Internet".

"The Internet has become a new channel for the Chinese government to get to know public opinion and amass the people's wisdom, and consequently exercise governance for the people and improve its work in this respect," according to a white paper released by the Information Office of the State Council.

"It has become a common practice for governments at all levels to consult the public via the Internet before formulating policies of particular importance," says the white paper, titled "Progress in China's Human Rights in 2009".

In China there are more than 1 million bulletin board services (BBS) and some 220 million bloggers.

According to a sample survey, each day people post more than 3 million messages via BBS, news commentary sites, blogs and so on.

More than 66 percent of Chinese netizens frequently place postings to discuss various topics, and to fully express their opinions and represent their interests, according to the paper.

The Chinese government also makes it convenient for the people to petition, report problems and offer suggestions through channels including special telephone lines and online agencies, it adds.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government attaches great importance to the Internet's role in supervision.

Governments at all levels are required to investigate and resolve in a timely manner all problems reported to the government by the public via the Internet, and to inform the public of the actions they have taken and the results of their actions, the report notes.

In addition, "the Chinese government is working actively to make government affairs public, improve the official spokesman system and information transparency", and ensure its citizens have more rights to know about, supervise and participate in public affairs, it says.

Chang Jian, a professor of human rights research at the Tianjin-based Nankai University, said the Chinese government has done a much better job in pushing forward administrative transparency, and the Internet has become an important platform for the public to better know what the government is doing.

The white paper is China's ninth report on human rights since the country began releasing the document in 1991.

The white paper also says the overall cause of human rights has been promoted in an all-round way.


1. How many estimated bloggers are there in China?

2. How many Bulletin Board Services (BBS) are there?

3. Roughly how many BBS messages are posted each day?


1. 220 Million.

2. 1 million.

3. 3 million.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Internet free speech 'protected by law'

Internet free speech 'protected by law'

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.