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Chinese vote on public holiday arrangements

English.news.cn   2013-10-11 15:39:53            

BEIJING, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese public have been voting online about the country's public holidays, with many wanting current arrangements to be changed

The government set up a poll on China's major news website portals including Sina, Sohu and Tencent on Thursday. Voting will end Saturday.

As of midday Friday, nearly 400,000 voters had taken part in the poll on the Sina platform alone.

Results from Sina showed nearly 82 percent of voters are unhappy with current public holiday arrangements. Fifty-six percent believed arrangements for long holidays, such as the seven-day National Day holiday which means part of the weekend either before it or after it is a working day, should be scrapped. This year, the Sunday before the national holiday, which was between Oct. 1-7, was a normal working day. The following Saturday after the holiday is also a working day.

More than 57 percent of Sina voters think the nation's single-day traditional holidays, such as Tomb-sweeping Day and Mid-autumn Day, should not be extended to a three-day holiday by deducting weekend days.

On Tencent, voting showed similar results. Most voters are aged 20 to 40 and account for more than 70 percent of total participants.

Most people are opposed to the deduction of weekends in order to piece together week-long or three-day holidays. They also want the country's most important holiday, the Spring Festival, to be longer than seven days. This is because traveling to visit family can sometimes take days.

A netizen with the screen name Ningbo Weiyu said the Spring Festival holiday should be extended to two weeks as it would give people more time to spend more money. This would help with economic restructuring because there would be more consumption.

The netizen also said weekends should not be deducted.

A netizen with the screen name Solomon-W said using last week's National Day holiday as an example, tourists were either in traffic jams or at heavily crowded scenic spots.

Another netizen with the screen name Ganxuehong said current arrangements make traveling a tiring job in itself.

The netizen said the public have the right to long holidays but suggested employers in different regions decide when to offer vacation time to their employees in order to lessen crowds.

Official data showed that Chinese tourists made a total of 428 million trips during last week's National Day holiday, up 0.7 percent year on year.

Analysts said the vote shows that the government is becoming more service-oriented. The government wants the public to take part in the vote and offer opinions.

Liu Simin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, "We should notice that the launch of such a vote after the National Day holiday, which ended on Oct. 7, is a kind and positive response to people's concerns from the government."

The vote comes amid the Chinese government's emphasis on transformation of governmental functions, which aims for better public services in efforts to deepen the country's reform.

Also on Friday, the Chinese central government's website www.gov.cn, opened an account on the nation's most popular Internet-based mobile platform WeChat, a social networking application of Tencent. The government said this will allow the public to receive government information first hand and in a timely manner.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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