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

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, addresses a central conference on work related to people’s congresses, held from October 13 to October 14 in Beijing (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. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping has underlined upholding and improving the people’s congress system and continuously enhancing whole-process people’s democracy. 

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while addressing a central conference on work related to people’s congresses, held from October 13-14 in Beijing.

The people’s congress system, made by Chinese people under the CPC leadership, is a great creation in the history of political systems as well as a brand new system of great significance in the political history of both China and the world, Xi said.

The people’s congress system has provided an important institutional guarantee for Chinese people, led by the CPC, to create the miracles of fast economic growth and long-term social stability over the past 60 years, particularly over the four decades of reform and opening-up, Xi said.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee has continued to innovate the theories and practice of the system of people’s congresses, he said.Noting that institutional advantage is vital for a country to seize its strategic initiative, Xi said both history and reality show that a country will be stable if it has a steady system, and a country will be strong if it has a sound system.He stressed efforts to fully enforce the Constitution and safeguard its authority and sanctity, and to improve the Chinese socialist system of laws so that good laws are in place to promote development and ensure good governance. He also stressed that people’s congresses should properly and effectively exercise their power of oversight in accordance with the law, and deputies to the people’s congresses should fully exercise their duties.

While the people’s congresses should enhance self-building, the overall leader-ship over the people’s congresses by the Party should also be enhanced, Xi said.

“Democracy, a shared value of humanity, is a key tenet unswervingly up held by the CPC and the Chinese people,” Xi stressed.

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, Xi said.

“Whether a country is a democracy or not depends on whether its people are really the masters of the country,” Xi said. “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,” Xi said.

“It is in itself undemocratic to use a single yardstick to measure the rich and varied political systems and examine the diverse political civilizations of humanity from a monotonous perspective,” Xi said. The whole-process people’s democracy in China not only has a complete set of institutions and procedures, but also full participation and practices, Xi said, noting that it is the broadest, most genuine, and most effective socialist democracy.

“The system of people’s congresses is an important institutional vehicle for realizing whole-process people’s democracy in China,” he said.

Under the leadership of the Party, the country will continue to expand the people’s orderly political participation and strengthen legal protection for human rights to ensure that the people enjoy extensive rights and freedoms as prescribed by law, Xi said.

Li Keqiang, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng -- who are members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee -- as well as Vice President Wang Qishan attended the meeting. Li Zhanshu, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, delivered the concluding remarks.

In his remarks, Li Zhanshu hailed Xi’s speech as “a guiding document powered with Marxist truth.” He called for full implementation of the guiding principles of Xi’s speech and stressed upholding the leadership of the Party to ensure that all the work of people’s congresses proceeds under the Party’s leadership.

Main Criteria for Judging Whether a Political System Is Democratic and Effective  

● 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.

● 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

Deeper Meaning of Democracy 

● 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.

Six Principles for the People’s Congress System  

● Leadership of the Communist Party of China

● That the people are the masters of the country must be guaranteed through systems

● Law-based governance

● Democratic centralism

● Socialism with Chinese characteristics

● Modernization of the national governance system and capabilities

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