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Wen holds online chat with public

March 2, 2009 at 1:44 AM
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BEIJING, March 2 (UPI) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held his first online chat with members of the Chinese public, the government said.

Wen went online Saturday at the government Web site www.gov.cn and the Web site of the state-run Xinhua News Agency for a chat that was shown live in text and video, Xinhua reported Sunday.

It was Wen's first online chat, but the second involving a high-ranking government official. Chinese President Hu Jintao conducted a brief question-and-answer session in June 2008 at the People's Daily Web site.

Against the backdrop of a global financial crisis, Internet users submitted almost 90,000 questions for Wen's chat -- which came days after high-level meetings in Beijing to take up issues including a growing unemployment rate, as well as social security, healthcare and corruption.

Wen said the government is making "active preparations" for Chinese officials to declare their assets as part of "a major move to fight against corruption."

Chinese lawmakers Saturday approved several anti-corruption measures, including one that restricts the conduct of government business between government employees and relatives or others who have close relations with them, Xinhua said.

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