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Internet Important for Public's Political Participation

Internet has become an important channel for Chinese public to participate in political affairs, said a senior manager of an internet website on Thursday.

Now more and more people express their ideas and proposals through websites thanks to a more open and free press and the increasing confidence of the country's leaders, said Chen Tong, vice president of

Chen made the remarks at a seminar to study Chinese leader Hu Jintao's speech to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) last month.

Chinese leaders have shown great concerns to the development of the internet in China. The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee specially held a session to discuss the development and administration of the new media.

By the end of October, China had had 170 million netizens, the second largest group in the world.

The healthy development of the internet depends on effective management by both the government and the industry under the framework of law, Chen and other participants said at the seminar.

"We should support laws and regulations on internet administration," Yu Wei, editor-in-chief of website, said.

Wu Zheng, editor-in-chief of, said the internet "will not have long-term credibility if we fail to provide netizens with normal, active and healthy information."

Wang Xiaohui, president of, said the administration on internet relies more on self-discipline by the industry.

Netizens have the right to directly supervise the internet media through their opinions and comments and such kind of supervision should be evaluated and regulated by the administrators, Wang added.

Development of the Internet has also brought about a prosperous commercial outcome for service providers. China's online advertisement industry, excluding searching engines, reaped nearly 5 billion yuan (about US$660 million) in 2006, and sales income of online games hit 6 billion yuan, according to Zeng Hongjun, vice president of

(Xinhua News Agency November 2, 2007)

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