CAI MENG/CHINA DAILY
China's whole-process people's democracy overcomes the problem of discussion but no decision, and decision but no implementation
In his speech to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China on July 1, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Xi Jinping said the whole-process people's democracy will be further developed. The whole-process people's democracy demonstrates the strength of China's democratic system, and it is high-quality democracy with salient advantages.
The whole-process people's democracy effectively safeguards the extensive and authentic rights of the people. Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China upholds the people-centered philosophy to continuously improve the socialist democratic system with Chinese characteristics which follows the trend of the times and effectively reflects the common will of the people.
People's participation and practice is essential to realize democracy. Chinese people not only have the right to vote, but also enjoy a variety of other political participation rights such as decision-making, management and supervision of social affairs. The concept of whole-process people's democracy is reflected in the entire process of people's participation in political life, in the whole process of the country's exercise of power and national governance, and in different areas of society-politics, economy, culture and ecological protection.
China's procedure of democracy revolves around the overarching goal of the country's political development being in harmony with its economic, social, cultural and rule-of-law development, and always serves people's all-around development and the society's holistic progress.
The whole-process people's democracy is instrumental in consolidating and developing the nation's governance capacity. Under the leadership of the CPC, China's whole-process people's democracy works around a political core which does not represent any special interest group, but serves the overall interests of the people as a whole. This year, the Chinese government unveiled a string of policies aimed at safeguarding social justice and fairness, such as the removal of Didi Chuxing-a ride-hailing app-from app stores for its illegal collection and use of its users' personal information and the crackdown on off-campus tutoring industry to ensure education equity and reduce the burden of excessive homework on students.
China's whole-process people's democracy is a combination of democracy and centralism. It can effectively engage the participation of people from all walks of life in the legislation and policymaking of the Party and the State, while ensuring the country's capabilities to make effective policies. As General Secretary Xi said, "Democratic centralism is the fundamental organizational principle of China, and a salient feature of China's political system. Under the Party's leadership, all State organs closely cooperate while performing their own duties. It overcomes the problem of 'discussion but no decision, and decision but no implementation."
The whole-process people's democracy seeks the greatest common denominator of society. It embodies the principle of reaching a consensus through consultation. Under socialism with Chinese characteristics, the whole of society can engage in dialogue and consultation. The concept of whole-process people's democracy is practiced in each aspect of people's daily life in an unconscious manner. Through relentless explorations, China has found a democratic system with distinctive Chinese features that are suited to its own national conditions. The whole-process people's democracy is a new type of political civilization rooted in China's soil, and reflects the fine traditional culture of the nation.
From the multi-party consultation over national policies to grassroots consultation at the community level, China has continuously expanded the channels of consultative democracy to make democracy permeate all aspects of people's life. Every year, China rolls out policies and laws related to the people, ranging from national-level legislation and local regulations to community-level policies. During the entire process of the legislation and policymaking, democratic consultation plays an important role. In January, seven draft laws were published on the website of the National People's Congress, soliciting public opinions. The draft law on practicing physicians alone collected 1,783 suggestions. The "open-door legislation" ensures voices from the grassroots level can reach the top legislature of the country.
Whole-process democracy seeks to maintain social harmony and stability while keeping social vitality. Since the CPC was founded a century ago, particularly after the 18th CPC National Congress, the Party has led Chinese people to strive for socioeconomic progress in step with democracy development. After a period of practice and exploration, China realized rapid industrialization and modernization while guaranteeing the extensive social rights of people. In the course of developing and improving the whole-process people's democracy, China has always upheld a people-centered philosophy in innovating the forms of democracy, fully released the vitality of democracy, while safeguarding social stability by virtue of democracy.
In the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic, urban and rural grassroots organizations across the country give full play to the wisdom of the people, and transform it into the governance capacity suited to local conditions. Under the leadership of the CPC, the fight against the pandemic demonstrates that the whole-process people's democracy has wide participation, which helps maintain social stability and harmony while stimulating the vitality of society.
Governing a large country such as China with a population of over 1.4 billion is not an easy task. Developing the whole-process people's democracy is beneficial for social stability and the rule of law, which serves the interests of the people.
(Fan Peng, director of the Research Center of Contemporary Chinese Politics, the Institute of Political Science at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of this platform.)