November 21, 2017 / 12:36 AM / a year ago

China pledges to be more open to providing information: China Daily

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Central and local governments will be more open to providing information to help the international community understand China, the official China Daily reported on Tuesday, citing a senior government official.

“We should be open-minded to talk about our disadvantages calmly and conflicts with other countries frankly,” the paper quoted Jiang Jianguo, minister at the State Council Information Office, as saying.

Jiang said China should be more confident in discussing its political thought and the way it governs, and should also “not avoid talking about hot-button issues”.

China enforces strict controls over the media and the dissemination of information online. It has built a “Great Firewall” aimed at restricting overseas websites and is also cracking down on the use of virtual private networks used to circumvent censorship.

In a report published last week, the U.S. non-government organization Freedom House ranked China last when it comes to internet freedom, citing censorship targeting ethnic minorities, media and regular citizens.

China has also imposed restrictions on academic publications, forcing them to block access to articles judged to be in violation of local regulations.

However, local authorities have also been urged to improve the accuracy, speed and transparency of economic and environmental data as part of efforts to improve their performance, and China says it is also encouraging the media to hold local officials to account.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Michael Perry

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