Premier Li Calls for Improving Government Services Via Internet Plus

(Xinhua News Agency, Sept. 14, 2016. Complete text:) Beijing - The Chinese government will step up efforts to improve government services via its Internet-Plus plans and aim to set a nationwide web-based government service system by the end of 2020, according to a new guideline by the State Council.

The new guideline was approved at the State Council’s executive meeting on Wednesday [Sept. 14] chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Internet Plus, proposed by Premier Li, refers to the application of the internet and other information technology in conventional industries, fostering new industries and business development in China.

"We are now living in an age of the Internet. Using Internet tools to facilitate public services is an important step in accelerating governance reform since the Internet is the fastest and most convenient way for public interactions and service delivery," he said.

The idea of improving government services and information transparency via Internet Plus was mentioned in Premier Li’s government work report this March. Streamlining government functions has been high on the government agenda since 2013. Officials say it would help unleash economic and social potential, especially since entrepreneurship and mass innovation are set to play key roles in China’s structural reform. Internet Plus will alter government functions, allow for better public information sharing and improve public services.

"The internet will not only provide people with more accessible public services, but will also help the government improve its administration," Li said.

Though there has been great improvements using the internet to facilitate public services, there is still large room for improvement across the country. The new guideline is drafted based on field research across eight provinces, mostly at administrative, agricultural and taxation centers.

It was noticed that internet-based governance is still unevenly developed across the country. Lack of government information sharing, regulation inconsistency as well as limited ...

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