More Party Organs Open to Media

The State Council Information Office has announced plans to increase government by setting up press offices and spokespeople in more official government departments. Xinhua reports:

Press offices have been set up and spokespersons have been selected and trained for seven of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) core bodies, State Council Information Office (SCIO) Minister Wang Chen told a news briefing on Tuesday.

[…] Leaders from more top Party organs are also scheduled to meet the press next year, he said.

The seven Party departments include the CPC Central Committee’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, United Front Work Department, Organizational Department, International Department, Taiwan Affairs Office, the Party Literature Research Center and the Party History Research Center.

A brochure containing contact information on each of the department’s spokesperson, as well as those of other government ministries, was released prior to the briefing.

Reuters reports that at the same press conference, Wang Chen lauded the increased transparency in reporting in 2008, especially of the May earthquake in Sichuan:

Release of prompt and accurate information, especially during emergencies, was a focus in 2008, Wang Chen, minister of the State Council Information Office, told a news conference.

“This shows that China has changed in a positive way, and such changes are recognized by the international community,” Wang said as the country celebrates 30 years of reform and opening up to the world.

Wang said his office would push for more transparency in “some areas where officials have not released information in a timely manner”.

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