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Govt solicits grassroots opinion for government work report

Updated: Feb 5,2015 4:18 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The public have been invited to participate in this year’s government work report, which the central government put online on Jan 22.

It has been common practice for the Chinese government to take advice from all walks of life when drafting the work report. However, this is the first time the general public have been given the opportunity to take part online.

The report will be delivered by the Premier at the upcoming annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in early March.

Premier Li Keqiang met with representatives from universities, research and financial institutions, as well as business leaders on Jan 26 to hear their feedback.

He also listened to opinions on education, science and technology, culture, health and sports at another meeting held the next day with representatives from the Internet, information technology and venture capital sectors.

As of the end of January, nearly 10,000 suggestions had been collected under 18 different topics, including macro-control, income distribution, education, social security and anti-corruption, with the latter three receiving the most feedback.

One user, using the handle Dancing Drip, suggested that the statement “anti-corruption campaign should never end” be added to the report; Star River suggested that the government outsource care for the elderly; and Little Soldier said that online education should be developed.

Unlike previously, when Internet users were invited to comment on governments policies online, this time good opinions and suggestions will be directly dealt with by the drafting team, according to organizers.

Other valuable suggestions, which cannot be included in this year’s report, will be sent to the relevant government departments, they said.

The people’s congress system ensures public opinion is heard.

Some 2.6 million people’s congress deputies at various levels, elected by their respective constituencies, must directly or indirectly learn about the most pressing needs of the public as well as national urgencies. They push forward national and local policies, through field studies, the collection of public opinion and the submission of motions and suggestions.

China also strengthened democracy building at the grassroots level, ensuring the extensive and direct participation of all citizens, including self-governance in rural and urban areas and the establishment of congresses at enterprises and public institutions.

In recent years, the Internet has become an important channel for citizens to exercise their rights to know, participate, be heard and supervise, and has become an important tool for the government to hear public opinion.