NPC delegates start blogging for the masses in China

A handful of delegates to China’s National People’s Congress (NPC)are using blogs for the first time to share their thoughts on therubber-stamp body’s annual session, tapping into a medium that hasrecently soared in popularity among Chinese Internet users.

Ten delegates to the NPC and the Chinese People’s PoliticalConsultative Conference (CPPCC), a political advisory body that isalso holding its annual session, have set up blogs on the Web siteof the official People’s Daily newspaper (

“This is the first time for delegates to use blogs during these twomeetings,” said Guan Jianwen, the executive at People’s Daily whooversees the NPC and CPPCC blogs. “We decided to do this afterseeing how popular blogs have become in China during the last twoyears.”

China has the world’s second-largest Internet community, behind theU.S., with more than 110 million users. According to financialanalysts at Piper Jaffray & Co., one-third of Chinese Internetusers read at least one of the country’s estimated four millionblogs every day.

In addition to sharing the delegates’ thoughts on issues beingdiscussed at the meetings, the NPC and CPPCC delegates’ blogs offeran opportunity for readers to post their own comments in response.The blogs have been popular with Internet users, attracting tens ofthousands of visitors each day, Guan said.

“After the two meetings are over, we hope these delegates andrepresentatives will continue to write their blogs,” Guan said,adding that delegates have welcomed the use of blogs as a way toimprove communication with the people.

People’s Daily is not the only news organization that’s tappinginto Internet to involve reader in their coverage of the NPCmeeting. The Xinhua News Agency, China’s official news service,asked its Internet readers to submit questions for Foreign MinisterLi Zhaoxing, who will hold a press conference with Chinese andforeign media later today.

At the time of writing, the Xinhua News Agency offer had elicitedmore than 250 responses on a range of topics, including Taiwan,China’s relations with the U.S. and Japan, and Iran’s developmentof nuclear technology.

While popular, blogs are not without limits in China. The Chinesegovernment has blocked access to blogs that it deems undesirable orpolitically sensitive.

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