The head of Shenyang Environmental Protection Bureau has caused a stir in the online community by launching a blog.
"Social figures have no privacy. Nor should a public service department. I want to share my questions, agitation and excitement not only with my family, but also the people of Shenyang," Li Chao wrote in his first post, to explain the purpose of the blog.
He then posed a question to stimulate debate: "Who is the driving force behind environmental protection? Government? Enterprises? Environmental protection bureaus? Or the public?"
By Wednesday afternoon more than 1,000 people had read the blog, with 64 posting comments. It was launched on June 5, World Environment Day. So far Li has made three posts.
Most netizens commenting on the blog have reported pollution cases in Shenyang. Others gave support or advice to Li, and discussed environmental protection issues.
"Everyone should take responsibility in the campaign," wrote one supportive netizen, named Yiqiesuifeng.
However, not everybody was impressed.
"How many county- and district- level environmental protection bureaus have you ever visited? You should come here to gauge opinion, but don't patronize us," said a blogger using the name Basic EPB.
Other netizens expressed doubts that Li would continue to update the blog.
Li said he could take the criticism. "I am not doing this to show off, but rather to collect the public's opinions so as to take the right action."
"Environmental protection is a comprehensive topic which involves law, economy and regulations. We welcome constructive and concrete suggestions," he added.
"Although some netizens think the blog will bring me more trouble than good, I still want to carry it on," Li wrote.
(China Daily June 8, 2006)