Yesterday much fuss was made over President Hu Jintao's participation in an online chat with ordinary citizens.
He was at the offices of the People's Daily celebrating its 60th anniversary when he sat in front of a computer and saw messages and questions posted to him.
The 66-year-old didn't actually type responses, but spoke into a microphone connected to the computer.
"Boss Hu," asked one "netizen", "do you use the Internet often?"
He paused before answering, "Although I am very busy I do not have the time to use the Internet everyday. I try to spare some time to do it. I want to say that this forum of people.com is one of the websites I visit often."
Not everyone had questions. Some just exclaimed, "It is a good day today!" or "Brother Hu, you are great!"
Some complained, "Old Hu, lots of government money has been wasted by officials on feasts. Why don't you stop it?"; "Why haven't our salaries increased while the prices of everything is skyrocketing?"; "The stock market and housing market are collapsing. It is hard to find a job..."
One even asked what Hu thought of Taiwan's democratization.
But the forum host chose a question about what the Chinese president liked to read on the net.
"When I use the Internet, I like reading domestic and international news stories," he replied. "Secondly, I also want to know from the Internet what people care about and what their views are. Thirdly, I hope to know what kinds of ideas and suggestions Internet users have on the work of the Party and the Government."
He added, "We care alot about Internet users' ideas and advice. We put the interest of our citizens first and rule the country for their interest. So we have to listen to the people's opinions when we do our work or make decisions. The Internet is an important channel for us to understand and collect public opinion."
Then Hu had to leave, due to a hectic schedule.
"Because of time limits, I cannot talk more to you today. But I will read and study carefully the messages you have sent to me. Also I want to take this opportunity to wish you all good health, successful jobs and happy families. Thanks!"