Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday called on government officials to promote and better regulate rapidly developing Internet services in China.
Hu made the call at a study session of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC), saying officials should "actively and creatively nurture a healthy online culture" that meets public demand.
The rapid development of the Internet in China has played an important role in spreading information, knowledge, and CPC's policies, and it has also raised new issues for the country's cultural development, Hu said.
"Whether we can cope with the Internet is a matter that affects the development of socialist culture, the security of information, and the stability of the state," Hu said, asking officials to use the Internet as a platform to spread healthy information.
Officials at all levels should facilitate the development of the Internet while improving the administration of web technologies, content and network security, said Hu.
Hu asked officials to become more knowledgeable and to improve their ability to administer the Internet.
Hu said the government should use advanced technologies to better guide public opinions voiced through the Internet.
"We should spread more information that is in good taste, and promote online products that can represent the grand Chinese culture," Hu said.
He told officials to provide conditions for developing websites that carry "excellent content" and improve the delivery of information.
China's Internet population jumped by almost 24 percent last year to reach 137 million, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.
Nearly one in 10 Chinese have Internet access and many regularly go online to read news, chat with friends, shop, and engage in debates.
Last year, Chinese Internet users spent a monthly average of 170 yuan (21.79 U.S. dollars) online, including the costs of Internet access, on-line shopping and games, compared with 150 yuan in 2005. The on-line consumer market expanded by 47 percent over the previous year, according to the China Internet Survey Report 2007 released this month.
The report also showed the number of Chinese bloggers reached 20.8 million at the end of last year, of whom 3.15 million are active authors.
The rising number of bloggers also caused problems and disputes. In 2006, blog piracy, infringement and "irresponsible" publications prompted the government to commission a study on the implementation of real-name blogs.
China Internet Association Councillor Hu Qiheng said the government was considering new ways to supervise blogs, requiring bloggers to identify themselves when they register, even if they write under a pseudonym.
The Ministry of Culture in December ordered all music distributors to register and apply for approval from cultural authorities to distribute imported music products on the Internet.
It also required online music based on music products copied or composed by netizens for non-profit purposes to be monitored more closely, saying some products had poor quality, or content that abused ethnic traditions or affected social stability.