Reasons behind Communist Party's democracy successes in China

09:40, July 02, 2011      

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Democracy is an unavoidable topic for the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of China's founding. During the revolutionary period of the last century, countless communists bravely sacrificed their lives for true democracy in China.

The Party is most qualified to talk on the topic of democracy. John Leighton Stuart said before leaving China that as a whole, the Communist Party of China left both the Chinese people, especially farmers, and domestic and foreign observers, the impression that it had committed itself to serving the people wholeheartedly, promoting democracy in China and restoring China's respectable status as a major world power.

After seizing power, the Party attached great importance to the establishment of democracy. Mao Zedong said that in order to avoid falling as fast as it rose, the Party should establish true democracy and rely on the masses to supervise government officials so they would not dare to abuse their power. When everyone was taking their share of social responsibility, the Party would not fall easily.

Democracy is also an important component of China's socialist modernization drive.

"Our objectives of carrying out the socialist modernization drive are to catch up with the developed capitalist countries in terms of economy and to create a higher level of democracy with more substance than that of capitalist countries in terms of politics," Deng Xiaoping said.

The Party's democracy is "better" because it has effectively combined the adherence to the Party's leadership with the rule by the people and the rule by law and established the system of people's congresses, the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the Party's leadership, the system of regional autonomy for ethnic minorities and the grass-roots mass self-government system. This is the institutional guarantee of democracy.

The Party has not only drawn particular importance to electoral democracy. It established and improved related voting and electoral systems, granted citizens more right to vote and to be elected, and also established deliberative democracy and built the world’s largest standing platform for deliberative democracy in China - the organizations at all levels of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference as well as the representatives of various parties, classes, circles, ethnic groups, religions and overseas Chinese participate in political consultations in accordance with the requirements of political consultation, democratic supervision and the participation in the administration and discussion of state affairs. The combination of electoral democracy with deliberative democracy is an innovative form of democracy.

The Party's democracy is "more pragmatic" because most developing countries face not only the issue of democracy but also the issue of the correct path and means toward democracy. Russia and Eastern European countries once embraced Western-style democracy and expected to imitate the West through radical reforms. After numerous setbacks, the politicians and the masses there are now aware that although it is worth pursuing democratic politics, the pushes to democracy will lead to social discontent and unrest and accordingly undermine the legitimacy of the regimes if they cannot advance economic and social development during the process.

China must draw lessons from other countries' experiences. The Party has unswervingly combined the continuing economic development, the improvement in public livelihood, the maintenance of a harmonious and stable social order and the construction of the rule of law with the proactive, stable and orderly improvement in the construction of democracy in order to provide people's democracy with powerful legal guarantee and a social foundation.

The reason why the Party's higher-level democracy is more practical is that the democratic construction keeps pace with the times. Currently, China has entered the crucial period of the rapid economic development and reform.

The economic system, the social structure, the interest pattern and the thought and concept have profoundly changed. The Party must face the profound changes in the international and domestic situation, the heavy tasks of maintaining the stability of reform and development, the new aspiration of people of all ethnic groups for a better life and the new situation and new problems during the construction of the Party member troops and the Party building.

These four profound changes and the four situations that the Party must face require the Party to promote and strengthen the vanguard nature construction, including actively promoting the inner-party democratic construction, enhancing the Party's solidarity and unity, developing the people's democracy through expanding the intra-party democracy and promoting social harmony through intra-party harmony.

The 90-year history of the Communist Party of China is the history of constantly exploring and promoting the democratic construction. The 90-year process is also the rhythm of China's democratic progress.

By Ye Xiaowen, a special commentator of People's Daily and secretary of the Party Committee of the Central Institute of Socialism, and the article is translated by People's Daily Online.

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