BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- China says on Sunday its citizens' right to freedom of speech on the Internet is protected by law and netizens can voice their opinions "in a wide variety of ways on the Internet."
"The Internet has become a new channel for the Chinese government to get to know the public opinion and amass the people's wisdom, and consequently exercise governance for the people and improve its work in this respect," according to a white paper released by the Information Office of the State Council, or China's Cabinet.
"It has become a common practice for governments at all levels to consult the public via the Internet before formulating policies of particular importance," says the white paper, titled "Progress in China's Human Rights in 2009."
Chinese government makes it convenient for the people to petition, report problems and offer suggestions through channels including special telephone lines and online agencies, it adds.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government attaches great importance to the Internet's role in supervision.
Governments at all levels are required to investigate and resolve in a timely manner all problems reported to the government by the public via the Internet, and to inform the public of the actions they have taken and the results of their actions, it notes.