The World’s Largest Democracy – China

In Chinese Civics & Socialism, Democracy, Education by TechnoOwl

Western countries have no right to monopolize the standards of “democratic countries”

Western media has always described India as the world’s largest democracy, hoping that India can quickly surpass China in strength using “democracy” , to prove the superiority of “democracy” to “authoritarianism”. Clearly it is political wording by the west. Its purpose is to label Socialism with Chinese characteristics as “undemocratic” and demonize China’s development using it’s own political and economic system.

General secretary Xi Jinping pointed out in the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China: “socialist democracy in China is the most effective, extensive and truest democracy that protects the fundamental interests of the people.” As the most populous country in the world, China is the largest democracy in the world.

The west makes democracy characterized by a multi-party system, representative system and “one person, one vote” as the only legitimate form of democracy, and then monopolize the power of interpretation of a “democratic country”, and tie it with the nebulous values of “human rights”, “freedom” and “justice”, so as to make their “democracy” become the only kind of democracy.

Western liberal democracy can be divided into the parliamentary system (constitutional monarchy and parliamentary republic), presidential system, and semi presidential system in form, and can be divided into “pluralistic democracy”, “elite democracy”, “radical democracy”, “multi ruling democracy” and “participatory democracy”.

Why do Westerners think their system is the only benchmark of a democratic system, when there are so many different types of Western democracy?

Why should their democratic standards be used to judge the difference between democracy and non democracy in the world? Despite the pluralism of their own democracy, Westerners easily deny the democratic forms of other countries and conclude that China’s “people’s democracy” is not a democracy and the People’s Republic of China is not a “democratic country”.

Democracy is a consultation procedure arranged between members of a society in order to achieve certain interests, so as to achieve the order of public life. The principle of democracy should be carried out in the fields of economy, politics, culture, and society. However, Europe and the United States have narrowed it down and limited it to periodic voting in the political field, and that’s all.

In China Democracy is a multi-faceted concept that entails public participation in many parts of how society is run and is done on a regular and ongoing basis throughout the year.

  • Government officials at the local level (city district or township) are directly elected by the population through one man one vote.
  • All proposed laws and regulations are put up for public consultation and opinion. People online can submit their opinions and concerns on proposals which will be taken into consideration in the following revisions with some proposals being completely trashed due to public outcry.
  • There are municipal, provincial, and national advisory assemblies called the CPPCC that are made up of unpaid volunteers who propose legislation and advise the government on policymaking. These people are not politicians, they have day jobs in many sectors as well as representing special interest groups such as minorities and religious groups.
    • On the National level, these include seats for Literature and Arts (142), Science and Technology (110), Social Science (71), Economics (149), Agriculture (67), Education (113), Sports (21), Press and Publication (44), Medicine and Health (88), International Friendship Activists (42), Social Welfare and Social Security (37), Ethnic Minorities (101), Religions (65), Hong Kong Representatives (124), Macau Representatives (29)
  • The CPC is the world’s largest spender on polling and survey data collection, in addition to online big data analysis. There are over 1000 polling and data analysis firms in China that continuously collect and aggregate public sentiments and opinions throughout the country and send this data to relevant government bodies.
  • This is a new creation. Every city in China has a Government Complaint Call Center that anyone can access by dialing “12345” on their phone or by reaching them on their Social Media accounts. You can report problems with local services, public transit, government offices, corruption tip-offs, or any other complaints about the government. The office is required to send you a follow up on the situation as well the data is submitted for big data analysis to aggregate and see where major problem areas are. Each call center gets on average 30,000 submitted reports a day.

2016 World Values Surveys found that 83% say China is run for their benefit rather than for the benefit of special groups–compared to 38% percent of Americans. 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer found that 72% of Chinese trust their government, whereas only 49% of people in America trust their government.

In 2020, Edelman Trust Barometer found that 82% of Chinese trust their government, where as only 47% of Americans have trust in their government.

In the west*, people have the right to vote, but they don’t have a broad right to participate. People are only mobilized when they vote, but they are left behind and discarded after they vote.* Such a democracy is a theatrical political game in which the people have formal rights but in fact have no real power.

Even if a country has such periodic voting, the West may not recognize the legitimacy of its democracy, because the real criterion for judging whether other countries are democratic is whether the election results are in line with the interests of the European and American hegemony system.

  • When the anti-American Palestinian Hamas organization won the Palestinian election in 2006, the United States did not recognize the legitimacy of Hamas at all.
  • Iran’s president is directly elected by the whole people, but the United States and Europe have never regarded Iran as a “democratic country”.
  • In 1973, the CIA supported Pinochet to launch a bloody military coup, which overthrew the democratically elected government of Allende in Chile.
  • Among many, many other cases of American & European forces toppling democratically elected governments Source 1 Source 2

Democracy is a trend of human civilization. There is no fixed model of democracy, let alone by western “standards”. China’s rapid development just proves that China is walking on the broad road of human civilization. People’s Ownership and the rule of law. Is the essential requirement of socialist democracy, which is the organic unity of the leadership of the Communist Party. China adheres to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics by constantly developing socialist democracy, actively and steadily promotes the reform of the political system, promotes modernization of the governance system and governance capacity, and the enthusiasm of the people to participate in politics.

But why do westerners not want to admit that China is a “democratic country”? American scholar John Kaper said: “Western scholars do not want to believe that China is democratic, many people even refuse to admit that China is moving towards democracy.”

They think that the western political system is more superior, and only by becoming like the west can China realize real political modernization. ” In reality, no country has the right to monopolize the standards of the democratic system, let alone impose its own system on other countries. We must recognize the hypocrisy of Western democratic discourse, clarify the democratic nature and characteristics of socialist China, taking democratic values seriously, and grasp the discourse right of democratic values.

Western liberal democracy is not as glamorous as the West portrays it

Democracy is not only an ideal value but also a realistic arrangement of social governance. Democracy is established and developed under certain social and historical conditions, with the historical and national characteristics of the specific country in mind.

In the past decades, with the continuous manipulation of public opinion, western liberal democracy has become an “absolute truth” that the world must follow, and has been described as the “end of history” and the ultimate political form for representing human social justice, progress and human rights.

However, as long as people examine the history and reality of Western liberal democracy, they will find many dark sides and have a clearer and deeper understanding of its essence.

Western liberal democracy is only a temporary historical form of democracy under the current historical conditions.

Lenin said: *Freedom in Capitalist society always remains the same as it was in ancient Greek Republics: Freedom for Slave Owners.*

Athens not only did not have democratic rights for women, but slaves were only “talking tools” and were not regarded as human beings at all. The values and principles of democracy were put forward when the United States was founded, but it was not until the end of the civil war in 1865 that black Americans gained the formal freedom rights granted by the constitution.

  • In 1920, women gained the right to vote after nearly a hundred years of struggle.

In the past decades, American politics has become increasingly warlike, tribal and aristocratic. The Kennedy family, the Bush family, and the Clinton family have a prominent position in American politics. There are at least three presidential candidates who win the majority of the votes in the general election but still lose the election in American history.

The party representatives in the primary election of the US general election play the role of preventing candidates like Sanders, who is the most popular politician in America, from going out of line. The western liberal democratic system is only an evolved form of a 19th-century capitalist political system under the economic and technological conditions of the 21st century. Its essence is still a political arrangement to safeguard the interests of the bourgeoisie and monopoly capital.

To a great extent, contemporary western democracy has been transformed into “cash” politics and populist politics. In recent decades, “competitive” elections in the West has been turned into a zero-sum game in which different groups seize power and block others from cooperating out of competition for power. After Trump came to power, he devoted himself to overthrowing the Obama era medical insurance and other programs, regardless of the interests of the population.

True democracy should allow all kinds of social forces to conduct full consultation so as to achieve a harmonious balance of interests and promote effective solutions to all kinds of social problems, rather than falling into the zero-sum game of “opposing for opposing sake”.** Today’s western democracy obviously runs counter to this goal and is gradually rotting away from within.

Western liberal democracy is not suitable for non-western countries with other cultural backgrounds and different social and historical development conditions. Different countries make institutional arrangements for national management and social governance according to their own social development stages and historical and cultural characteristics, so their democratic political systems are diverse. “Democracy is a good thing” cannot be said in a general way. Only democracy that conforms to the country’s cultural tradition, social development stage, and the people’s development needs is a good thing.

Democracy is not equal to “one person, one vote”. The precondition of this and the development of basic stability and orderly development of society are not always going to align. The tragic facts of the Arab Spring tell us that it is very difficult for a non-western country to have stability and order after the so-called “democratic transition”, even moving towards political instability, social disorder, and even civil war, destroying economic and social development. Only the wearer of the shoe can tell whether the shoe fits. Never use other people’s measurements to buy your shoes!

China is steadily moving towards a new realm of people’s democracy

General secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: “People’s democracy is the lifeblood of socialism. Without democracy, there will be no socialism, no socialist modernization, no great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. ” It is the unswerving goal of the Communist Party of China to promote the construction of socialist democracy and realize the free and all-round development of all people in China.

In his speech at the 60th-anniversary session of the National People’s Congress, general secretary Xi Jinping pointed out:

The democracy and effectiveness of a country’s political system can be determined according to whether:

  • -the national leadership can be changed orderly and according to law
  • -the people can manage state affairs and social affairs
  • -the economic and cultural undertakings are managed in accordance with the law
  • -the masses can express their interests safely
  • -all aspects of society can effectively participate in the political life of the country
  • -Scientific and democratic decisions by the leadership
  • -all aspects of talents can enter the national leadership and management system through fair competition
  • -the ruling party can achieve the leadership of state affairs in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and laws
  • -the use of power can be effectively restricted and supervised.

“We have adhered to and improved the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, carried out in-depth political consultation, democratic supervision, and participation in political consultation promoted the broad and multi-level institutionalization of socialist consultative democracy and developed a unique socialist consultative democracy.”

“Efforts have been made to build a decision-making mechanism to understand the people’s situation, reflect the public opinion and gather the wisdom of the people, so as to ensure that the decision-making conforms to the interests and aspirations of the people. We will reform the personnel system for cadres, and establish and improve a mechanism for recruiting talents, being able to go up and down, and being full of vitality.”

The political development path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the inevitable result of the Chinese people’s long struggle for historical logic, theoretical logic and practical logic since modern times. Socialist democracy is the most beneficial democratic form to the fundamental interests of the Chinese people. Of course, China’s socialist democracy still has a lot of room for development and improvement. As a country with the largest population and complex national conditions, China’s democratic construction needs a long-term process of improvement. Democracy is not a slogan or a label, but a means to realize people’s happy life through the exploration of state and social governance*.*

China’s democracy is not only reflected in the political field, but also runs through the economic, cultural, social and other fields. China’s democracy is not only based on the right to vote, but also democratic consultation on a wide range of issues in the economic, political, cultural and social fields. China’s democracy is not only on the level of national political operation, but is also carried on in all aspects of society.

Deliberative democracy is a unique form and advantage of socialist democracy in China. Party consultation, People’s Congress consultation, government consultation, CPPCC consultation, people’s group consultation, grass-roots consultation and social organization consultation are increasingly developing towards a wide range of multi-level institutionalization. “We should solve the problems around the masses in the way that the masses are accustomed to, and we will discuss how to deal with them.” It is with such a wide and profound arrangement of democratic systems and democratic practice that socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics constantly demonstrates its authenticity, effectiveness, and superiority.

We should firmly believe in the superiority of the political development path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, clarify the achievements and advantages of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the realization of democratic values based on the historical and contemporary Chinese democratic political practice as the test criteria, and fight back against the western standard of a “democratic country” for political purposes and ideological prejudice.

Original Article in Mandarin