Hanoi (DPA) -- The launch of a Facebook page by a Vietnamese minister could lead to a more open society, an observer said Tuesday.
Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien launched her official Facebook page Monday, becoming the first minister in the communist country touse a social network to contact the public.
The page provides health information and receive questions from the public, a statement from the ministry said.
"This is an encouraging signal proving the cabinet has recognised the strength of social media," said Professor Nguyen Minh Thuyet, former deputy chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children.
"It shows a more open, transparent and democracy working way in dealing with the public of the government," he said.
"People, social media are very excited about her Facebook page," one Facebook user wrote.
"It has become the hottest issue discussed in social media Tuesday," Nguyen Ngoc Hang posted.
Vietnam has periodically blocked access to Facebook but currently has 30 million registered users. The site is popular with businesses as well as activist groups at a time when the government has been cracking down on its online critics.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a government meeting last year admitted "banning social media is impossible."