‘A democratic nation is run by the people’

BEIJING: President Xi Jinping has underlined further promoting whole-process democracy that enables the Chinese people to be broadly involved in national governance, saying that whether a country is democratic or not depends on whether it is truly run by the people.

Xi, who is also general-secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while addressing a central conference on work related to people’s congresses, which was held on Wednesday and Thursday in Beijing.

He called for upholding and improving the system of people’s congresses, a political system fundamental to the party’s leadership, the running of the country by the people and law-based governance.

He said such a system ensures the realisation of whole-process democracy in the country.

In China’s political system, the people exercise state power through the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature and local people’s congresses, ensuring their interests are reflected in the decision-making process.

Xi called Chinese democracy “whole-process people’s democracy” in November 2019 during an inspection tour of Shanghai.

This enables the Chinese people to broadly and continuously participate in day-to-day political activities, including democratic elections, political consultation, decision-making and oversight.

“Democracy, a shared value of humanity, is a key tenet unswervingly upheld by the CPC and the Chinese people,” Xi emphasised.

Democracy is not an ornament to be used for decoration, it is to be used to solve the problems that the people want to solve, he added.

The key to a country’s democracy lies in whether the people run the country, depending on if the people have the right to vote and more importantly, whether the people have the right to broad participation, he said.

“If the people are awakened only for voting but enter a dormant period soon after, if they are given a song and dance during campaigning but have no say after the election or if they are favoured during canvassing but are left out in the cold after the election, such a democracy is not a true democracy,” Xi said.

Judging whether a country is democratic or not, Xi said, should also take into account what political procedures and rules are stipulated by the systems and laws.

More importantly, it is also a question of whether these systems and laws are implemented well.

Xi said democracy is a right that all people around the world enjoy, not a privilege reserved to a small minority of countries.

Whether a country is democratic or not should be judged by its own people, not by a handful of people from outside it, Xi said, adding that whether a member of the international community is democratic or not should be judged together by the international community, not by a self-righteous minority.

There are many ways to achieve democracy and there is no one-size-fits-all model, Xi pointed out.

It is undemocratic in itself to use a single yardstick to measure the world’s various political systems and examine the rich political civilisation of mankind with a monochrome eye, he added.

Whole-process people’s democracy in China not only has a complete set of institutions and procedures, but also full participation, Xi said.

He also called for focusing on whether the rules and procedures for the operation of power are democratic while stressing that the key issue lies in whether power is really supervised by the people.

While highlighting that whole-process people’s democracy in China is “the broadest, most effective socialist democracy” safeguarding the fundamental interests of the people, Xi called for efforts to further promote the principle of the running of the country by the people in national governance and reflect this in specific efforts to meet people’s aspirations for a better life. — China Daily/ANN

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Xi Jinping , democracy , political system


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