Good Democracy Should Meet People’s Expectations
By H.E. Cong Peiwu, Chinese Ambassador to Canada
Democracy has become a buzzword, because it matters to us. Democracy is the shared value of all humanity, and it is also an essential principle that the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese people have always unswervingly adhered to.
Whole-process people's democracy is a significant concept put forward by the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core based on the deepened understanding of the development of China's democratic politics. As General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized in his report to the 20th National Congress of the CPC, whole-process people's democracy is the defining feature of socialist democracy; it is democracy in its broadest, most genuine, and most effective form.
"People's democracy" and "whole process" are the two key phrases for understanding the philosophy. "People's democracy" means that the people run the country, giving full expression to their will, protecting their rights and interests, and sparking their creativity. "Whole process" refers to the implementation of democratic elections, consultations, decision-making, management, supervision, and ensuring that the people run the country in a concrete and realistic manner in national and social life.
In China, people participate in managing state and social affairs, as well as economic and cultural undertakings. They provide opinions and suggestions on the top-level national development design and participate in local public affairs governance. They can express their wishes through channels, including people's congresses and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC, China's top political advisory body) at all levels, and their demands through social organizations, the Internet and other platforms. In drafting the report to the 20th National Congress of the CPC, the Party Central Committee carried out in-depth investigation and research, formulating 80 research reports and soliciting 8.54 million opinions through the Internet. The report's final version absorbed opinions from both within and outside the Party.
The system of people's congresses is an important institutional vehicle for the realization of whole-process people's democracy. More than 2.6 million deputies to the five-level people's congresses are an important driving force for the realization and development of whole-process people's democracy. During the National People's Congress (NPC) annual meeting, nearly 3,000 NPC Deputies discuss national development plans and hot issues of people's livelihood, so that people's thoughts and expectations can be integrated into the top-level design of national development.
Legislation provides a vital method to realize that the people run the country. China has established 22 local legislative outreach offices (LLOOs) in relevant provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government. More than 130 draft laws have been solicited through the LLOOs, with more than 11,850 pieces of advice and suggestions, of which more than 2,400 have been adopted to varying degrees. Each law is full of public opinions.
Consultative democracy is an important way by which whole-process people's democracy is practiced, constituting a unique form and advantage of China's socialist democratic politics. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized in his report to the 20th National Congress of the CPC that China will improve the system of consultative democracy and make coordinated efforts to promote consultations carried out by political parties, people's congresses, government departments, committees of the CPPCC, people's organizations, communities, and social organizations, so as to promote extensive, multilevel, and institutionalized development of consultative democracy.
The supervision of the people's congresses at all levels is crucial to whole-process people's democracy, with "whole process" as its essential attribute. The Standing Committee of the 14th NPC has carried out people-centered supervision and determined more than 50 supervision projects focusing on education, medical care, poverty alleviation and other areas of the people's greatest concern.
For democracy to succeed in a country, it must take deep roots in that country, and make its own people happy and satisfied. It takes China decades to complete the industrialization process that developed countries had gone through in hundreds of years. Being the world's second-largest economy, China has created the "two miracles" of rapid economic development and long-term social stability, taking more than 700 million people out of absolute poverty, establishing the world's most extensive education, social security and medical and health systems, and scoring major strategic achievements in the fight against Covid-19. We have ensured a more complete sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security for our people. History and reality have fully proved that the Chinese pattern of democracy conforms to its national conditions and is supported by the people.
The world is diversified, and different countries have different national conditions. There should not and cannot be only one pattern of democracy. Only a democratic system taking root in that country and conforming to the country's national conditions can be the most reliable and effective.
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