Characteristics of Chinese Democracy
Every country has its own specific characteristics, conditions, culture and requirements and, as regards China, its system of government is a “Whole-Process People’s Democracy” or “Whole-Process Democratic Representation” as all the segments and sectors of Chinese society and economy are represented in the policymaking and governmental plus party functioning from the grassroots level to the top. While the main ruling party remains the Communist Party of China (CPC), the whole edifice of the party system is a kind of One Plus Eight system, One standing for the CPC and Eight meaning the additional, mass-representation subsidiary bodies, reflecting the aspirations of the masses whereas the three main pillars of the Chinese system of governance, in the backdrop of its own characteristics, i.e. Chinese characteristics, are (a) strong leadership; (b) reforms or good governance; and (c) opening up.
The principal reason behind China’s tremendous, unprecedented success in a world rife with conflicts and hegemonic battles is that China has, throughout, pursued a policy of non-intervention, shared future and mutual benefit and, above all, maintained socio-political harmony among different segments of the Chinese society on the basis of which this marvellous success has been achieved. Moreover, the main focus is on national interests that should always come first before the personal interests.
In China, in particular, the country’s interest and greater harmony are held supreme. The country has also learned lessons from others and turned those into its own strengths. Whether it is a misperception or a false propaganda that voices are not allowed to be raised in China at free will, members of the party and many others, are free to give their suggestions and raise their voice, when needed, on any important issue concerning the Chinese people. Its most recent example is that during the drafting stage of the 14th Five-Year Plan, President Xi Jinping, chaired a number of seminars with representatives and experts in various fields, to hear their opinions and suggestions. More than 1,000 suggestions were collated from a pool of some one million online messages. The drafting group analysed them item by item, took them all into consideration, and accepted all the pertinent suggestions.
In fact, China is a practical example of transparent decision-making by the government at all levels as the opinions and suggestions of all sectors of the society are heard that relate to major decisions, research and development.
Simultaneously, public announcement of draft decisions is made for the finalization of decisions and for post-assessment. The main objective is that the people’s wishes and voices can be translated into major decisions by the Party and the government.
As per a Harvard University research report, titled “Understanding CCP Resilience: Surveying Chinese Public Opinion Through Time” (July 2020), the Chinese government enjoys the highest rate of satisfaction in the past two decades and the Chinese people’s overall satisfaction towards the Central Government exceeds 93%.
The writer is a student at PU, Lahore.