Notion of true democracy far beyond Western definition, says Ethiopian analyst

(Xinhua) 11:48, December 11, 2021

ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- The notion of democracy and its true principles are far beyond its Western definition, an Ethiopian political analyst has said.

Speaking to Xinhua recently, Henok Tilahun, an independent political analyst, questioned the U.S. administration's attempt to divide the global community on the pretext of democracy through its so-called "summit for democracy."

"This summit is ... ridiculous ... how come the U.S.A. got the moral authority and moral position to invite and reject or classify nations based on their democratic, human rights efficiency? Because, both domestically and internationally, democracy is all about rule of law," Henok said.

The United States is hosting the so-called "summit for democracy" this month, in which the guests are selected according to America's definition and standards of democracy.

Describing the Western definition of democracy as "a very narrow way" of understanding true democracy, the analyst stressed that democracy is not only about human rights as the United States and other Western countries often tout.

"Western-defined democracy is based on civil and political rights, while Eastern-defined democracy is based on social and economic equality. So, it is not a universal meaning ... What the U.S.A. uses or other Western countries use of the definition of democracy is based on their interest and their understanding," he said.

He further underscored the need to realize equality of opportunities in the United States, which he labeled as the basis for the fulfillment of true democracy.

"If you go to the U.S., a lot of people suffer from inequality of income, inequality of wealth, inequality of opportunity. So, without the equality of opportunity, how come nations talk about democracy, and human rights?" Henok said.

The analyst stressed that recent attempts by the U.S. administration in bringing together like-minded countries based on its standard of democracy will only affect genuine discussion on the issue.

"The U.S. gathered and grouped nations with the mentality of cold war based on their definition, not based on universal understanding of democracy," he said.

Concerning recent negative human rights records in the United States, he said "since 2012, how many human rights violations have happened in the U.S.? How many American institutions systematically marginalize and violate human rights and democracy? It is a very clear and obvious sign of how the U.S. violates human rights."

The analyst pointed out that China's whole-process people-centered democracy ensures that all sectors of its society always enjoy equal democratic rights.

"Talking only about human rights or elections is not enough to meet the satisfaction of the people. So, the Chinese version of democracy is, I think, the right version of democracy," he noted.

Henok advised developing countries, Africa in particular, to take China's version of democracy as the true form of democracy.

"When you think or focus on economic equality, social equality, it is all about people centered. The Chinese version of democracy is, I think, a very crucial understanding for other Africans and developing countries because the government strives to keep the safety and the convenience of people in the nation," he said.

(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)


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