Web site for public's five-year plan ideas

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 December, 1998, 12:00am

A government Web site has been set up inviting suggestions on the draft of the five-year plan for 2001 to 2005.

The site, run by the State Development Planning Commission, is the first use of the Internet by the Government to solicit public opinion and a sign of the medium's growing popularity.

Yesterday's China Youth Daily heralded last Tuesday's launch of the site as 'a revolution in the way the Government operates'.

'We can listen to different opinions from all walks of life of the society,' said the paper. 'This will help promote democratisation and scientific development in policy making.' The site, Development Planning - at http://dp.cei.gov.cn/ - aims to promote initial research and preparations for the drafting of the 10th Five-Year Plan. It includes a public forum inviting views on development issues.

The commission's department of development planning, in charge of the site, said comments and suggestions should be restricted to social and economic development issues. Visitors should not put forward opinions which were 'illegal and threatening the security of the state'. The department had the right to keep or delete any 'arbitrary' comments.

So far, 1,628 users had visited the site, 624 of whom had looked through the forum.

Twelve topics are open for discussion. Not surprisingly the most popular concerns the economy and prospects of a recovery next year.

Other popular topics include developmental planning, improving computer operating systems and education.

The site has a review of previous five-year plans and the background on the current plan. It also provides Chinese translations of the long-term strategies of the United States, Japan and South Korea.

However, one site visitor doubted the use of putting the plan on the Internet for public discussion. 'It's like a mother telling her three-year-old son, 'I'll divorce your dad, what's your opinion?'.' But another site visitor was grateful to the department for 'letting people spell out their opinions' and 'participate in government affairs'.

'Everyone has the responsibility to the state of giving useful suggestions,' he said.