Xinjiang Party chief opens micro blog to hear opinions
Updated: 2011-03-03 21:18
BEIJING - Zhang Chunxian, Communist Party chief of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has launched a personal micro blog so he can interact more with the public.
Zhang's micro blog opened late Wednesday on www.qq.com, a popular Internet portal in China.
"I launched my personal micro blog at the invitation of website operators. The website also has a special homepage on Xinjiang," Zhang told reporters Thursday.
"I hope, through my micro blog, that suggestions and proposals will be given to me on improving Xinjiang's development and Xinjiang people's livelihoods," said Zhang, who is in Beijing to attend the annual parliamentary session
In his first, and only micro blog message as yet, posted at 8:11 pm Wednesday, Zhang described his feelings when he received a letter from a resident of a minority ethnic group in Xinjiang.
"Recently, a woman of a minority ethnic group wrote to me, saying 'over the past year, we local residents have gradually felt the warmth of unity and love. We can hum songs when we get off work, buy vegetable, do cooking...because lots of happy things are taking place around us'," Zhang wrote in the micro blog.
The woman apparently referred to the changes of life in the far west ethnic region in the wake of the July 5 riot in Xinjiang's regional capital Urumqi in 2009, which left 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured.
"I'm touched and delighted to read these simple words," Zhang wrote.
Zhang, 58, was appointed Xinjiang Party chief in April last year, about nine months after the deadly riot rocked the region.
Almost 12,000 micro bloggers had become his fans by late Thursday, and about 2,200 posted comments. The micro blog can be found on http://t.qq.com/zhangchunxianlx.
"I was born in Xinjiang and grow up in Xinjiang. I support you, " a micro blog user "Qin Dejuan" said in the comment.
Many other users put forward different suggestions on reining in housing prices and vegetable prices and improving social welfare.
Around 450 million people in China are Internet users. The Internet has become an important channel for China's legislators, as well as government officials, to gauge public opinion.
Two popular micro blog wesbites, www.qq.com and www.sina.com, have recently announced they each have more than 100 million micro blog users.
Zhang is in Beijing to attend the annual session of the country's top legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), which is to convene Saturday.
As the annual sessions of NPC and the country's top political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, open this week, hundreds of NPC deputies and CPPCC members have begun using micro blogs to interact with the public.
Earlier in January, Cai Qi, a vice provincial-level CPC official in east China's Zhejiang province, opened his personal micro blog on www.qq.com. Before Zhang's opening of micro blog, Cai had been considered the highest-ranking CPC official to do so.
"I feel both surprised and delighted to see (Party) Secretary Zhang open his own micro blog," Cai wrote in his own micro blog. He is head of the Organization Department of the CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee.
"I'm surprised because a provincial-level Party chief has a micro blog. I'm delighted because high-level leadership has come to know the power of micro blog," said Cai, also an NPC deputy.
Zhang told reporters Thursday that he would interact with the public frequently through his micro blog.
"Micro blog is a very good platform and good channel for communications," he said.
He meanwhile acknowledged that he would be restricted in how much time he spent micro-blogging because of his heavy workload.
"However, no matter whether I write it or not, I will read the public feedback I get through the blog regularly and often," he added.
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