International Department of the CPC Central Committee       BEIJING REVIEW
Special Issue on Whole-Process People’s Democracy       MONTHLY
Xi’s Insight Into Democracy
 

Chinese President Xi Jinping makes his way to the ballot box during the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress, the highest state organ of power, in  Beijing on March 17, 2018. Xi and fellow deputies voted to elect the president, vice president and other leaders (XINHUA)

Democracy is not an ornament to be used for decoration; it is to be used to solve the problems that the people want to solve 

Expand the people’s orderly political participation at all levels and in various fieldsEfforts must be made to actively develop whole-process people’s democracy, and advance comprehensive, extensive, and coordinated development of the systems and institutions through which the people run the country. We must establish diverse, unimpeded, and well-organized democratic channels, diversify forms of democracy, and expand the people’s orderly political participation at all levels and in various fields, so as to ensure that China’s governance and institutions in all sectors give full expression to the will of the people, protect their rights and interests, and spark their creativity.

From Communiqué of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China 

Upholding the principal position of the people 

The Central Committee has stressed the importance of upholding the principal position of the people and ensuring their law-based participation in democratic elections, consultations, decision-making, management, and oversight.

From Communiqué of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

To reach consensus on the wishes and needs of the whole of society is the essence of people’s democracy 

Under China’s socialist system, deliberations help when a problem crops up, and matters involving many people are discussed by all those involved; to reach consensus on the wishes and needs of the whole of society is the essence of people’s democracy. On matters that concern the people’s interests, deliberations should be held with the people; without deliberation or with insufficient deliberation, it is difficult to handle these matters well.

From speech at the meeting marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of the chinese people’s political consultative conference

Whether a political system is democratic and effectiveTo evaluate whether a country’s political system is democratic and effective, it mainly depends on whether the country can conduct leadership transitions in a lawful and orderly manner; whether the people can administer national, social, economic, and cultural affairs in accordance with the law; whether people can openly express their demands; whether various sectors of society can participate effectively in affairs of national political importance; whether the state decision-making process is rational and democratic;whether talent from a variety of sectors can enter the systems of national leadership and administration through fair competition; whether the governing party can exercise leadership over national affairs in accordance with the Constitution and law; and whether the exercise of power is subject to effective restraint and supervision.

From speech at the central conference on work related to people’s congresses from October 13 to 14, 2021

Democracy is not an ornament to be used for decoration 

Democracy is not an ornament to be used for decoration; it is to be used to solve the problems that the people want to solve. Whether a country is a democracy or not depends on whether its people are really the masters of the country. Democracy is about whether people have right to vote, but is more about whether they have the right to participate widely. Democracy is not only about promises people hear during the election, but more about the fulfillment of these words following the electoral outcome. Democracy is judged by political procedures and rules stipulated by systems and laws, but is further evaluated by whether these systems and laws are actually implemented. Democracy depends on whether rules and procedures to exercise power are democratic, but also depends on whether the power is subject to checks and oversight by the people.

From speech at the central conference on work related to people’s congresses from October 13 to 14, 2021

This democracy is not a true democracy 

If the people are awakened only for voting but enter a dormant period soon after, if they are given a song and dance during campaigning but have no say after the election, or if they are favored during canvassing but are left out in the cold after the election, such a democracy is not a true democracy

From speech at the central conference on work related to people’s congresses from October 13 to 14, 2021

The judgment on whether a country is democratic or not should be made by their people, not by the handful of others 

Copy the political systems of other countries cannot work

In this rich and varied world, we should uphold inclusiveness, learn from the strengths of others with an open mind, and digest and absorb what we learn through an objective mindset so that we can turn it into our own strength rather than just blindly copying others. It is not feasible for China to copy the political systems of other countries, since those systems are not suited to our national conditions. Any attempt like this would at best lead to poor imitation, and might even ruin the country’s future. The most reliable and effective systems for a country are always the ones that take root in and draw nourishment from their own soil.

From speech at the ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the national people’s congress, on September 5, 2014

We must remain clearheaded and determinedWill countries be freer, more democratic, and stabler to follow in the footsteps of the West? Some developing countries have copied Western political and party systems. And what happened next? Many countries have descended into political turmoil and social unrest, and their people have found themselves displaced. There are many such examples to draw on. What has passed cannot be retrieved, but what is to come, we ourselves can shape. Therefore, we must remain clearheaded and determined.

From a speech given during a meeting on the united front work on May 18, 2015

The judgment on whether a country is democratic or not should be made by their people, not by the handful of others. 

Democracy is the right of all peoples, rather than an exclusive privilege of the few. There are multiple ways and means to realize democracy, instead of a single stereotype. The judgment on whether a country is democratic or not should be made by their people, not by the handful of others.

From speech at CPC and world political parties summit, on July 6, 2021

Military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm.A world of peace and development should embrace civilizations of various forms, and must accommodate diverse paths to modernization. Democracy is not a special right reserved to an individual country,but a right for the people of all countries to enjoy. Recent developments in the global situation show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm.

From speech at the general debate of the 76th session of the united nations general assembly, on September 21, 2021

China’s democracy works for China 

Socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics is something new, and something good.

Socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics is something new, and something good. Of course, this is not to say that China’s political system is flawless and needs no further improvement or development.That we are confident in our system does not make us smug or complacent, nor does it mean that we are resistant to change and progress. Rather, it demands that we combine this confidence with continued reform and innovation, and that we develop and improve our political institutions on the basis of upholding our fundamental and basic political systems.

From speech at the ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the national people’s congress, on September 5, 2014

Avoid phenomenon that politicians making wild promises during elections but unable to deliver later onWe must uphold the principle that all power in the country belongs to the people, guaranteeing not only law-based democratic elections but also law-based democratic decision-making, democratic management, and democratic supervision, so as to avoid the phenomenon of politicians making wild promises in the elections process that they are unable to deliver later on.

From speech at the ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the national people’s congress, on September 5, 2014

Chinese-style works for China 

Marx and Engels once said, What is democracy? It must carries a certain meaning, otherwise it cannot exist. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the true meaning of democracy. There are many diverse ways to realize democracy, so we cannot just rigidly copy any particular one. Practice has proven that a Chinesestyle democracy works for China.

From speech at the meeting marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the chinese people’s political consultative conference, September 20, 2019

The whole process of people’s democracy with all-inclusive systems and procedures and fullfledged public participation in practice 

The whole process of people’s democracy not only features all-inclusive systems and procedures, but also comes with full-fledged public participation in practice. Whole-process people’s democracy is democracy in its most extensive, honest, and useful form. It is a complete-chain, omni-directional, and allencompassing democracy. It is a process and outcome democracy, procedural and substantive democracy, plus direct and indirect democracy.

From speech at the central conference on work related to people’s congresses from October 13 to 14, 2021

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