China / Politics

China to build national online petitioning system

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-11 19:49

NANJING - China will establish a national online system for petitioning by the end of the year, authorities said at a meeting in Huai'an of East China's Jiangsu province on Friday.

The State Bureau for Letters and Calls (SBLC) said the new network will allow petitioners to submit various complaints via the Internet and government at all levels to share information.

According to the SBLC, the national network will collect complaints delivered by letters, personal visits, hotlines, videos and online formats. Moreover, central government organizations will be able to share information with their provincial counterparts through the data exchange platform.

Based on the timetable, the SBLC is expected to issue a unified data interface standard in May, then start a test run and connect with provincial online petitioning networks in December.

Petitioning, also known as "letters and calls", is the administrative system for hearing public complaints and grievances. In China, petitioners generally see injustice in land acquisition, healthcare, education or environmental protection.

Official statistics show that China accepted about 2.48 million online petition cases in 2013, up 10.9 percent year on year. In some places, the number of complaints filed via the Internet even surpassed that through traditional means like mail or personal visits.

Pushed by such irresistible contemporary trends, online petitioning has gradually become the main channel for the public to file complaints. It could also ensure the transparency of government organs, said Shu Xiaoqin, head of the SBLC.

"Through online petitioning, the public can better understand the procedures of dealing with a case and its results, improve their participation and oversight," she said at the meeting.

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