Chinese democratic politics prospers

By Fang Ning Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/10 21:03:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

In the late 1980s, Japanese-American scholar Francis Fukuyama proposed the so-called "end of history" theory, which announced the triumph of Western liberal democracy. However, this "Westerncentric" theory deviates from the current developments in international politics.

Democratic politics is a general trend of political growth in the age of industrialization, as well as a political system commensurate with the growth of industrialization and modernization. The path to democratic politics varies in countries where state leaders need to choose and develop their own democratic ethos in accordance with different stages of development and prevailing domestic conditions.

China has established its own democratic system with Chinese characteristics in its pursuit of national independence and prosperity, and social progress, a fruitful result of its democratic building that has been deeply influenced by the country's historical and cultural traditions and domestic conditions.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, especially after the reform and opening-up kicked off in 1978, China's democratic politics has ensured people's socio-economic rights and interests. In addition, China's democratic system has an advantage in terms of the pooling of resources, such as regulating market economy, formulating layouts of economic growth, coordinating regional development and promoting infrastructure building.

The protection of Chinese people's rights and the pooling of resources have been bolstered by the political system featuring the intrinsic connection of the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the people being masters of the country and the rule of law.

The 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012 decided to make consultative democracy the focus of China's socialist democratic politics with Chinese characteristics. This was done after giving deep thought to China's then socio-economic conditions and missions, global environment and the experience of building democratic politics in the West and some developing countries.

China's consultative democracy is a primary way to exercise and develop democratic politics, which covers all walks of life from the ruling party to citizens.

China's endeavor to develop consultative democracy in its own era of industrialization is conducive to reducing social contradictions and extending social consensus. As consultative democracy seeks to maximize the interests of social members, it helps forge common interests.

Besides, China's consultative democracy can coordinate with electoral democracy in that it provides effective channels to have different opinions expressed while optimizing the principle of subordination of the minority to the majority.

Apart from that, China's consultative democracy contributes to reaching compromise or consensus, so as to increase the efficiency of decision-making and decrease political costs.

By so doing, China has gradually developed its own strategies to advance the building of democratic politics.

First, problem-oriented approach is the right remedy for the case. The ways to solve the real problems drawn from the past can reduce the risks posed by subjective viewpoints and misjudgment.

Second, carrying out pilot programs helps reduce risks. The reform and development of political systems must not follow a one-size-fits-all approach, or else one minor mistake will make a big difference. Conducting pilot programs helps rule out the possibility of major mistakes.

Third, an overall consideration is needed. Political building and reform can bring some benefits to a certain field, but may contribute to new problems in other fields. Therefore, political development and reform should evaluate the overall effects through experiments and pilot programs, so as to reach a final solution and establish a sound political system.

China's distinctive strategies to propel political development have buttressed the stable industrialization and urbanization in the largest developing country in the world. China's industrialization is a miracle as it hasn't engendered any catastrophic turmoil or chaos that hit the West and some other developing nations.

China's socialist democratic politics with Chinese characteristics sets an example for all developing countries striving to achieve industrialization and modernization through political development. It also proves to be an inspiration to the West that has been mired in domestic strife and other thorny issues. It is with this understanding that China's exercise and exploration of democratic politics not only fits China, but also serves as a reference for the international community.

The author is director of the Institute of Political Science at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The article is originally published in Reference News.


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