China Exclusive: Party congress responds positively to age of Internet
BEIJING, Nov 09, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
By Xinhua writer Ji Shaoting
The Internet has been
unprecedentedly embedded into the ongoing National Congress of the
Communist Party of China (CPC).
Not only can contents on the Internet be found in the congress
report, but online media practitioners are attending the congress
Shu Bin, general manager and chief editor of Rednet.cn, based
in central China's Hunan Province, is one of two Internet media
practitioners attending. The other is Liao Hong, president and
chief editor of People.com.cn.
It is the first time that delegates from the Internet sector
Shu wrote on his microblog of Sina Weibo, "My life has been
about the Internet during the past ten years. As an experienced
netizen, I will record what I see and hear during the congress on
He told Xinhua, "This is a new thing, but not unexpected. We
represent 'you' in front of the computer." Shu expressed the
belief that their participation showed the Party's will to listen
to the public and how new media is displaying influence in the new
Shu recorded his thoughts before the opening of congress and
had written 25 microblogs. Many netizens are expecting the
delegates to share their words from the congress.
The congress report looks at areas such as reinforcing
regulation on the Internet and building a modern communication
China has more than 500 million netizens with the Internet,
becoming an economic engine as well as a platform for freedom of
During the congress, both Party delegates and ordinary people
can discuss hot topics on the Internet.
Technological progress has broadened the channels of democracy
and raised people's awareness of their rights, while at the same
time, brought new challenges to the ruling party.
The new media, including the Internet, are a challenge for the
Party, as they are going to change many aspects of governing,
which will bring the Party to a brand new age, said Liu Jingbei,
director of China Executive Leadership Academy-Pudong in Shanghai.
Robert Lawrence Kuhn, an American expert on China issues and
writer of "The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of
Jiang Zemin," identified new social media participating in
politics to be one of the biggest concerns among the new trends
for the Party congress.
Some steps have been taken by the Chinese government after
heated online discussions, which show the power of the Internet,
he told Xinhua.
State media and local officials have started to use microblogs,
online messengers and other Internet tools to express their views
and communicate with the people.
Delegate Shen Haixiong with other delegates suggested including
microblogs and other new media into the congress report.
Convenient and low-cost online supervision should be fully used
by the Party under the complicated circumstances to reinforce its
governance capability, Shen said.
On the other hand, pressure from the Internet is one of the
ways of hearing from the public. For a party of more than 90 years
old, there should be more channels to realize transparency.
"There is one thing that you can be sure of -- that is many
Party officials are not as scared as before when talking about the
Internet. Microblogs and other new media are growing into a
special channel for people in and out of the Party," said Meng
Jian, professor of Journalism School of Fudan University in
(Ren Qinqin, Xu Xiaoqing and Hai Mingwei contributed to the
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