The increasing popularity of micro-blog in China is attracting ever more top Chinese officials. The most ranking Chinese official who has embraced micro-blogging to date is Zhang Chunxian, party secretary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region. Zhang created his micro-blog site on Wednesday (March 2) using his real name. Perhaps to his surprise, he attracted as many as 7,000 visitors on the first day.
Zhang has previously served as Yunnan provincial assistant governor, transportation minister and Hunan’s provincial party secretary. During his stint in Hunan, he logged onto the Yangtze River Web site to listen to the views of the people. After Zhang left Hunan in 2007, he published a farewell speech through the Internet and even sent New Year’s greetings to his Net fans.
Besides Zhang Chunxian, according to statistics, there are other top mainland officials with ranks above the vice ministerial level who used their real name to set up micro-blog sites. They included the vice propaganda minister of Yunnan province, chief of the cultural department of Jiangsu province and minister of the organization department of Zhejiang province.
This news may seem trivial, but it really speaks to the increased role of the Internet and the politicization of new forms of mass-communication in Chinese society.