The State Council calls for a more open government and more effective responses to public concerns, according to an official document released on Aug 2.
An effective mechanism to deal with public concerns must be created in order to avoid lagging and false responses, the document says.
The document adds that government bodies are required to hold news conference for serious emergencies within 24 hours and to react to other public sentiment within 48 hours. Responses could be given through news conferences, briefings or exclusive interviews with the media.
In recent years, the development of the internet has been changing the way people communicate. Public concerns can be incited and expand more quickly and frequently via social media. But “some government officials cannot respond to public sentiment quickly and effectively,” the document says.
Therefore, the State Council urges all public servants to get used to new media, publicize information and communicate with the public through official websites, micro blogs, WeChat and other apps in order to enhance communication.
It lists the major occasions when public sentiment should receive a response, which include mass public complaints over government policy, affairs that concern public interest, scandal, public security incidents and natural disasters.
In addition, the government will spend two years training all information officials and spokespersons to improve their ability to communicate with the public. And their response performance will be included in the evaluation system for government officials, according to the State Council.