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Whole-process democracy puts people first

By YANG ZHIHAO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-09-23 08:36


Democracy means that all citizens exercise the right to participate in political and public affairs and social management. It is the common pursuit of human beings and the only way to facilitate the development of a political civilization.

Different countries have adopted different forms of democracy. The Communist Party of China does not copy Western-style democracy. Instead, it has chosen to develop socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics, because it best suits the country's conditions.

A country should choose a form of democracy that is in conformity with its national conditions, political system, history and culture. The CPC follows whole-process people's democracy, as it helps meet the needs of the Chinese people, ensures social stability and provides the strongest possible institutional guarantee for the people to administer the country.

Whole-process people's democracy puts people and the well-being of the people first. Socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics ensures the primacy of the people. It is totally different from Western-style democracy which promotes the interests of capital and elites. For example, only the capitalist class can enjoy US-style democracy; normal people do not have much say in governance despite the United States proclaiming itself to be the "beacon of democracy".

In contrast, whole-process people's democracy stresses the primacy of the people. As a result, democracy in China has been developing based on the consensus and solidarity of the people. It allows the people to reach consensuses on major issues through negotiation and by exercising their right to vote.

The advance of whole-process people's democracy facilitates the harmonious and sustainable development of society, improves people's well-being, and helps build a high-quality and highly efficient democratic society. It also strengthens democratic institutions and helps meet people's growing needs.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, China has been promoting socialism with Chinese characteristics, consolidating the people's principal position in the country's political and social life, and leveraging the institutional strengths of Chinese socialism. The Party ensures that the people run the country as its masters, and participate in every aspect of policy formulation, implementation and supervision.

Public supervision is a prerequisite for whole-process people's democracy. Power can only contribute to democracy and benefit the people when it is exercised under effective supervision. The development of whole-process people's democracy requires the smooth functioning of people's congresses at all levels, so that authorities can address people's concerns and focus on solving social problems.

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress in 2022 highlighted the importance of strengthening the institutions with whose help the people run the country, uphold the country's political system, and expand democratic channels. The report also said the country should fully develop consultative democracy and promote extensive, multilevel and institutionalized development of consultative democracy.

Since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, the development of consultative democracy with Chinese characteristics has helped meet China's development needs. As such, consultative democracy will help realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and build a political civilization.

China's exploration of primary level democracy has increased people's participation in political and public affairs, and helped them exercise self-supervision and self-management.

The united front, an effective instrument for rallying people's support and pooling their strength, has played an important role in the development of whole-process people's democracy. Now, China needs to unite all forces and mobilize all positive factors in order to build itself into a great modern socialist country and realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics is true democracy for the Chinese people, who have the right to vote and elect their representatives for the National People's Congress, which incorporates the views of all members of society.

Whole-process people's democracy reflects humankind's social advancement and contributes to global political civilization. Humanity's quest for and experiments with democracy will never end. And there is always room for improvement no matter which model of democracy a country follows. But for China and the Chinese people, whole-process people's democracy is the best form of democracy, as it suits the national conditions, helps maintain stability, and facilitates the country's development.

The author is an assistant research fellow at Wuhan Polytechnic University. The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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