Democracy comes in many forms in richly diverse world

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Residents Of Wanggao Village Nanmachang Neighborhood Huai An
Residents of Wanggao village, Nanmachang neighborhood, Huai'an, east China's Jiangsu province vote in an election for deputies to the local people's congress, Dec. 27, 2023. (Photo by Zhao Qirui/People's Daily Online)

By He Yin,

The third International Forum on Democracy: The Shared Human Values was held in Beijing on March 20. 

Chinese and foreign guests engaged in discussions on topics including “Democracy and Modern Governance,” “Democracy and the Rule of Law in the Digital Times,” “AI and the Future of Democracy” and “Democracy and Global Governance in a Multipolar World.”

They fully recognized China’s practices in implementing whole-process people’s democracy, saying China’s democracy works and works well and has explored new paths for humanity’s cause of democracy.

Democracy is an important hallmark of the progress and development of human civilization and an ideal that has always been cherished by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese people.

China keeps to the path of socialist political advancement with Chinese characteristics, and follows whole-process people’s democracy. Whole-process people’s democracy integrates process-oriented democracy with results-oriented democracy, procedural democracy with substantive democracy, direct democracy with indirect democracy, and people’s democracy with the will of the state. It is a model of socialist democracy that covers all aspects of the democratic process and all sectors of society. It is a true democracy that works.

The annual sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), also known as the “two sessions,” exactly mirror the effectiveness of China’s democracy.

During the “two sessions” this year, nearly 5,000 NPC deputies and CPPCC members from all walks of life across the country gathered in Beijing, integrating aspirations and expectations of the people into the nation’s top-level policy design. 

The government work report, compiled through extensive consultation, was modified by about 10,000 people directly. Besides, officials from multiple ministries and departments responded intensively to public concerns on the sidelines of the sessions.

Through the “two sessions,” foreign journalists witnessed that China’s democracy gives full expression to people’s will, protects their rights and interests, and works in concert with the people. They said that China’s democracy is an important chapter in the story of democracy for humanity.

As a populous country long plagued by weak economic foundations, China always draws wisdom and strength from its 5,000-year-old culture and fine traditions in developing democracy. Based on a correct understanding of its current development stage and its economic and social conditions, it focuses on identifying and resolving each and every problem and presses ahead with democracy step by step.

After long-term exploration, China has developed a path to democracy with Chinese characteristics, which ensures adequate democratic rights for all of its 1.4 billion people, unleashes their enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity, and builds a “Chinese miracle” of rapid economic development and long-term social stability.

China’s whole-process people’s democracy takes root in the vast land of China, aligns with China’s national conditions and enjoys wholehearted support from the Chinese people. 

A poll by Harvard Kennedy School showed that over 90 percent of Chinese citizens have consistently expressed satisfaction with their government.

Developing whole-process people’s democracy is one of the essential requirements of Chinese modernization. As Chinese modernization advances, whole-process people’s democracy has been constantly expanding and deepening. It has ignited the enthusiasm of all people to participate in the country’s modernization drive, translating institutional strength into effective governance. It has become the solid foundation for the “governance of China.”

International observers believe that as whole-process people’s democracy continues to develop, the Chinese people are enjoying increasingly extensive rights and freedom. Whole-process people’s democracy has created new forms of human civilization, providing a science-based reference for other countries in the development of democracy.

Democracy is a concrete phenomenon that is constantly evolving. Rooted in history, culture and tradition, it takes diverse forms and develops along the paths chosen by different peoples based on their exploration and innovation.

The purpose of democracy is to safeguard and promote the well-being of all humanity. It should not become a barrier dividing people, nor should it become a tool for a few countries to serve their own narrow political agendas.

As the largest developing country in the world, China fully respects other developing countries’ efforts to pursue, develop and realize democracy, and the rights of all peoples to independently choose their own development paths. It opposes the acts of triggering division, spreading prejudice and undermining peace in the name of democracy.

In the richly diverse world, democracy comes in many forms. China is willing to work together with all countries to carry forward the common values of humanity – peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom. In a spirit of mutual respect and following the principle of seeking common ground while setting aside differences, countries will add new elements to the world’s political structure, and make new contributions to humanity’s cause of democracy.

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