From Renmin Ribao (人民网, People’s Daily Online), Jan. 29, 2022, http://en.people.cn/n3/2022/0129/c90000-9951085.html. Complete text:
Democracy is a pursuit and common value of humanity, as well as a right that should be enjoyed by all the people in the world. While pursuing democracy, countries around the world have established different forms of democracy and jointly developed the political civilization of humankind.
Chinese President Xi Jinping noted that there are many ways to achieve democracy, and there is no one-size-fits-all model.
The key criterion for whether a country is democratic is whether its people are truly the masters of their own fate.
Whether a country is democratic depends on whether the people have the right to vote, and more importantly, the right to participate extensively; whether they have been given verbal promises in elections, and more importantly, how many of these promises are fulfilled after elections; whether there are set political procedures and rules in state systems and laws, and more importantly, whether these systems and laws are truly enforced; whether the rules and procedures for the exercise of power are democratic, and more importantly, whether the exercise of power is genuinely subject to public scrutiny and checks.
Democracy is not a decorative ornament, but an instrument for addressing the issues that concern the people. China’s whole-process people’s democracy is a complete system with supporting mechanisms and procedures, and has been fully tested through wide participation.
In China, the people enjoy broad democratic and political rights ensured by the Constitution and laws. They participate in the management of state affairs, social affairs, and economic and cultural affairs; they provide opinions and suggestions for the design of national development plans at the highest level, and also contribute to the governance of local public affairs. Democracy is achieved in every link, from democratic elections and consultations to decision-making, management, and oversight.
Democracy and national governance operate in parallel. Progress in democracy and modernization of national governance are mutually reinforcing. One essential feature of a good model of democracy is that it will promote sound governance and boost national development. Whether a country is democratic and how it should achieve better democracy should be judged by its people.
China’s whole-process people’s democracy can effectively adjust national political relations, coordinate wills and interests of all parties, unleash people’s enthusiasm, initiative and creativity, and build an institutional advantage that enables the country to concentrate resources to accomplish key national undertakings.
China has completed a process of industrialization that took developed countries several centuries in the space of mere decades, and maintained long-term social stability while realizing rapid economic development. Whole-process people’s democracy is one of the keys to China’s two miracles of rapid economic development and long-term social stability. According to statistics, the level of public satisfaction with the Chinese government has remained above 90% for many years. The Chinese people are gaining in increasingly stronger sense of fulfillment, happiness and security due to China’s sound and effective national governance.
Democracy is reliable and works well only when it is rooted in a country’s unique social environment, developed according to the country’s history, culture and tradition, as well as the exploration and innovation made by the people in the country, and suited to the country’s own modernization process. A country can learn from the models of democracy of other countries, but shall never duplicate them.
The Communist Party of China has always been holding high the banner of people’s democracy. Uniting and leading the Chinese people to devise and develop democracy in accordance with China’s national conditions, characteristics and realities, the Party is unswervingly following the most suitable path to democracy.
Facts have provided unequivocal evidence of the efficacy and vitality of democracy in China. China never seeks to export the Chinese model of democracy, nor does it allow any external force to change the Chinese model under any circumstances. It endeavors to increase democracy between nations, supports the independent choice by every country of its own path to democracy, and supports countries to safeguard their legitimate democratic rights and offer more opportunities for the world with their own development, so as to make the global governance system fairer and more equitable.
(Editors: Xian Jiangnan and Liang Jun)