Central government website opens formally
Updated: 2006-01-01 08:30
The website of China's central government, www.gov.cn, opened formally at
zero hour Sunday following a three-month trial operation.
There was no grand ribbon-cutting ceremony for the launch of the website. But
according to Wu Jiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science,
this could be seen as a starting point for the establishment of an electronic
government and a demonstration of the Chinese government's resolve to make
itself more transparent and service-oriented.
The website has aimed at providing a platform for the departments under the
State Council, or the Chinese cabinet, and the provincial, autonomous regional
and municipal governments across the country to release information on
government affairs and provide online services. Since the beginning of its trial
operation on October 1, 2005, it has won acclaims from almost all circles of the
An online survey, conducted by the website itself, showed that 93 percent of
the responding netizens regarded the launch of the website as "something quite
The website, in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese and English versions,
has four sections. The section of information about government affairs is for
providing information on government work. The service section provides online
services for citizens, enterprises and foreigners. The other two sections offer
communication channels between the government and citizens, as well as a search
Wu, an expert on administrative science, said the formal opening of the
website is a major step in pushing forward administrative innovation and
building a service-oriented government in China. The website is a window for the
citizens to learn all information concerning governmental affairs, and therefore
can help safeguard the citizen's rights to know and get involved in government
The website will help enhance the communication between government and
citizens. And the governments could directly get public feedback on their
policies through the website, thus promoting the practice of "democratic and
scientific policy-making," said Wu.
"As a matter of fact, the significance of e-government mainly lies in its
promotion of democratic administration," he added.
In the service section of the website, 50 departments under the State Council
and organizations affiliated to the State Council have released information on
how to go through the administrative examination and approval process in various
Li Fangran, an employee of Beijing Agriculture Bank, said the new website
seems to have close connections with ordinary people's everyday life. Taking
herself as an example, Li said she could now easily find useful information
about tourism, transportation, medical care, passport application and education
on the website.
"Once I logged onto the website to search for information about private
passport application. After keying in the word 'passport' into the search
engine, I got dozens of search results, from which I easily learnt the
procedures I need to go through and the documents to prepare," Li recalled.
Shelly Kraicer, a Canadian movie columnist now working in China, said the
website is a window for foreigners to learn about China. She said she often
learnt the latest news about China from the website, especially from columns
like China Today and China Factfile.
Mao Donglin, an official with the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources
(MLR), said he had frequently browsed the website since October 1, and had found
that the website was linked to the websites of all ministries and organizations
under the State Council. Every time the MLR releases any important news, the
editors at the central government website would add it into the news column very
"This gives our ministry a broader platform to release our information," said
In Mao's view, the opening of the central government website will help the
general public better supervise the government, and help the country attain its
long-pursued goal of "administration by law."