Hu Jintao made a surprising online visit to Qiang Guo Forum on June 20 and chatted live with Chinese cyber fans for 22 minutes. Hu’s visit was viewed as recognition from the government to take internet as a channel for people to express their voice, according to a survey conducted by China Youth Daily after Hu’s visit. Among 2874 surveyed, 71.9 percent agreed that the government has begun to seriously take on the opinions on the internet and the cyber expression has become a new avenue to realize the Chinese styled democracy. While 56.8 percent among surveyed agreed that Hu’s visit was “a historical step”, only one in two agreed that this will help to increase Chinese citizen’s participation in social affairs.
Source: China Youth Daily, June 30, 2008