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Public wants more channels to speak out

Updated: 2011-03-05 07:18

By Wang Hongyi (China Daily)

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SHANGHAI - City residents are looking for more opportunities and channels to express their concerns to deputies and members to the annual sessions of the country's top legislature and top political advisory body, according to the Media and Public Opinion Research Center at Fudan University.

The research center said its fifth citywide survey is moving forward at the same time as the two-week sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

"We have conducted such polls for four years running, trying to find out what the public understands and thinks about the two most important meetings in the domestic political calendar," Zhou Baohua, an assistant to the director of the research center said on Friday. He said the public's awareness of the two sessions keeps growing and that 93 percent of the respondents to the 2010 survey said they knew of the meetings.

"More than 80 percent of the residents surveyed in 2010 believed the proposals from NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members reflected public opinion," Zhou said.

Still, 75 percent of the respondents said they would like to communicate with the government to ensure an even better reflection of public opinion.

For four years in a row, the annual surveys found that livelihood issues - such as housing prices, healthcare, jobs and social security services - were the topics of most concern to residents. And more than 60 percent of the respondents said they pay attention to Premier Wen Jiabao's government work reports as well as his news conferences.

Television, the Internet and newspapers are the three media sources local residents use most to get information about the annual sessions.

"We found that the influence of traditional media, such as newspaper, is on the decline," Zhou said. "The Internet is becoming a more and more important means of obtaining information about the two sessions."

He said mobile newspapers and mobile TV are also becoming increasingly popular.

Last year, the Internet overtook newspapers to become the second most popular media source. That was the first time that had happened since 2007, when the center began conducting the survey.

During this year's two sessions, new media are expected to draw much of the interest, especially since many NPC deputies and CPPCC members have started their own micro blogs in the hope of soliciting public opinion and exchanging more ideas with the public.

Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, also an NPC deputy, is believed to be the first Party chief of his stature in China to use his real name on a micro-blogging service that has become popular throughout the country.

Zhang's micro blog opened on the Internet portal on late Wednesday.

"I hope, through my micro blog, to receive suggestions and proposals on ways to improve Xinjiang's development and the livelihoods of the Xinjiang people," Zhang was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.

"Maybe it will become more common for deputies and members to open micro blogs, because better communication tends to elicit a larger number of thoughtful suggestions and ideas," said Sun Lin, a local resident.

The result of this year's survey will be released on the last day of the two sessions, according to the research center.

China Daily

(China Daily 03/05/2011 page4)


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