The beauty of Chinese democracy

By Zamir Ahmed Awan (People's Daily Online) 16:41, March 08, 2022

Photo taken on March 5, 2022 shows a view of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China. The fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) held its opening meeting on March 5 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

The world is now witnessing a key moment in China when representatives from all its provinces and regions, all its ethnic groups, and political parties, gather together in Beijing for the “Two Sessions,” an annual event usually held in March every year.

During this event, Chinese lawmakers and political advisors participate in devising the future course of action in every dimension of China's development and its people's wellbeing. Apart from engaging in further discussion, there is a dialogue on the country’s progress to date and a series of policy measures for consideration. This year the event started on March 4 when the fifth annual session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) formally commenced. Then, on March 5, the fifth annual session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) kicked off. These important sessions are responsible for undertaking a comprehensive review of overall government progress, governance-related matters, and national level policy reports along with making important decisions for implementing the national economic and social development plans. This year’s sessions will also examine and draft central and local budgets for 2022 at both the national and local levels.

Democracy is not an ornament, it is not to be used merely as a decoration, but instead it should be used to solve the problems that the people are in need of solving. Hence, the Communist Party of China has put forward the grand idea of whole-process people's democracy. The “Two Sessions” have in turn become an important window for the international community to observe China's people-centered practice of whole-process people's democracy.

Whether a country is democratic or not, the key lies in whether it has truly achieved the people's interests. The people's interests is the unchangeable original intention of people's democracy in the whole process of China’s government. The whole-process people's democracy of China not only has complete institutional procedures but also has complete participation in practice.

The world has seen delegates from all corners of China, representing all classes, all segments of society, all religions and ethnic groups, coming together to discuss their issues and concerns. They have put forward their proposals and suggestions without any restriction. There are also subject specialists, covering all aspects of economic and social development, to offer advice to the government on their respective areas of expertise. After free and open discussion, the points will be summarized and a consensus will be established. All the agreed points will become a part of the decision process for policy planning and decide the future course of action in the following year to come. The government will implement the decisions and policies formulated by the comprehensive in-depth consultation of the people’s representatives. This is what is meant by the concept of socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics.

The beauty of the Chinese system lies in its people-first approach and its focus on the total welfare of the masses. This spirit was demonstrated to the world in full force at the time of the outbreak of COVID-19, when the government prioritized the lives of its citizens over any economic losses and fought against the pandemic bravely, achieving great success in overcoming the pandemic. The Chinese leadership respects its people and takes good care of them. In return, the people of China have a very high approval rating for its government and the country’s leadership. Another mega achievement of China worth mentioning is that it has reached the milestone of fully eradicating extreme poverty throughout the country. China has successfully lifted almost 800 million people above the poverty line since the country’s Reform and Opening-up policy was initiated in 1978. This miraculous feat is unprecedented in the entire history of the world.

China has adhered to a people-centered development ideology and has made overall plans to promote epidemic prevention and control alongside economic and social development. Following the successful rebound in growth during the initial recovery in 2020, China's economy grew by 8.1 percent in 2021, contributing to about 25 percent of the world’s annual economic growth.

Despite all the tough challenges that the world is facing, and a struggling global economy, China has still maintained positive economic and social development indicators. This was all possible due to China’s realization of socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics, wherein the Chinese people and the country’s leadership are on the same page and enjoy comprehensive harmony and trust.

China has further expanded its opening up to the outside world, providing a broader platform for all kinds of enterprises around the world to enter the Chinese market and enjoy China's development dividends. A series of international events – such as the China International Import Expo, the China International Fair for Trade in Services, the China Import and Export Fair and the China International Consumer Products Expo – were held as scheduled, sending the world a firm signal that “China's door of opening-up will only open wider" in the new era. Many countries hope that while sharing in the development dividends with China, they can also share China's wisdom on global economic governance.

China will continue to advance its science, technology, and innovation, which are key engines for human progress, powerful weapons for tackling many global challenges, and the only path for China to foster a new development paradigm and achieve high-quality development. China will invest more in science and technology, develop an enabling system for innovation as a priority, turn breakthroughs in science and technology into actual productivity at a faster pace, and enhance intellectual property protection, all to foster innovation-driven, higher-quality growth. Scientific and technological advances should benefit all humanity rather than be used to curb and contain other countries’ development. China will think and act with more openness concerning international exchange and cooperation on science and technology. The country will work with other countries to create an open, fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological advancement that is beneficial to all and shared by all.

Unlike Western-style democracy, which is in decline and has failed to resolve the common challenges of human beings, the Chinese style of governance and its people-centric approach are gaining momentum and many developing countries now regard the model as a ray of hope, with many trying to learn from the Chinese experience. Although the West is unbridled in spreading its propaganda, fake news, and distorted narrative against China, the wider world has seen the Chinese model as successful, which has continued to deliver and gain the people's satisfaction.

Zamir Ahmed Awan is a non-resident fellow with the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. E-mail: [email protected]

The opinions expressed in this article reflect those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of People's Daily Online.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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