Freedom and responsibility meet online in China

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, March 8, 2011
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It may seem unusual to find a monk who has microblogs in eight languages and updates them daily, but now is an unusual time and he is an unusual monk.

Master Xuecheng, deputy head of the Buddhist Association of China, created his first blog in 2006, followed by his first microblog in 2009. Later, he set up other Twitter-like accounts in seven other languages: English, French, Russian, Japanese, German, Spanish and Korean.

When he opened his microblog two years ago, an English comment caught his eye: "It used to be foreign priests coming to China to spread their religion. Now there is a Chinese Buddhist who can promote Buddhism from China to the world."

To date, he has posted over 7,800 entries and amassed 40,000 followers in a country boasting 450 million Internet users.

"Through blogs and microblogs, people can learn about Buddhist teachings in a fast and convenient way," he said.

During the ongoing annual sessions of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's National Committee and the National People's Congress, Master Xuecheng updates his blogs daily.

More than Buddhism thrives on the internet, the attendees of these sessions, the apex of China's political year, also use the social media to interact with the public.

The Internet has become an important channel for Chinese citizens to voice their concerns and chat with national leaders.

On February 27, Premier Wen held an online chat with Chinese netizens to answer questions about issues close to people's hearts, such as rising commodity prices, education for children of migrant workers, and income distribution.

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