Whole-process democracy in China is a great practice of universal significance
Published: Dec 05, 2021 01:56 PM
White flags are seen on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Sept. 16, 2021. More than 660,000 white flags were installed here to honor the lives lost to COVID-19 in the United States.Photo:Xinhua

White flags are seen on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Sept. 16, 2021. More than 660,000 white flags were installed here to honor the lives lost to COVID-19 in the United States. Photo:Xinhua

I saw that some people are not confident about China's holding high the banner of whole-process people's democracy, but still believe US democracy is the real democracy. The fundamental reason is that past US achievements have helped cover up its ugliness, making the US-led Western countries dominate the definition of democracy and profoundly influence the thoughts and visions of some Chinese people who follow whatever the West says. 

The people being the masters of their own country is not only the sacred goal of the Chinese revolution, but also the original intention of the establishment of the People's Republic of China. There are no ready examples in the world of how to achieve this goal, but one must admit that China has been striving for and exploring tirelessly to realize this ideal. New China had such a weak foundation in every respect,  nevertheless, we still had to develop our national power and simultaneously build up the system guaranteeing the people running the country; we had to use the market economy to create wealth and at the same time restrain its nature of making inequality between rich and poor. It's such a tough mission to do these things right. 

The US and the West are clearly not people-centered as capital dominates those societies. This is understood by many Chinese people. Should so many people die of the COVID-19 pandemic? Have those countries tried to stop the spread of the coronavirus and deaths despite the huge resources they have? I think this pandemic has obviously become a litmus test. 

In addition, why can't US democracy stop the widespread gun violence that keep striking school campuses? In history, there were many barbaric places in the US which were politically immature so ordinary people had to own guns to keep themselves safe. But this situation had already changed a long time ago. Aren't we clear about the pros and cons of civilians in cities like New York and Los Angeles holding a large number of guns? Moreover, although the US needs money for many livelihood issues, US military spending accounts for 3 percent of its GDP, an amount that exceeds the combined total of military expenditure of a long list of countries ranking after the US. Can the poor in the US manage to cut the military spending so that the money saved can be used to eliminate poverty?

To be realistic, corruption exists all over the world in diverse forms, so does official malfeasance. But let's see how many corrupt officials have been arrested in China and how many have been held accountable for malfeasance. Most senior US officials are quite rich as the collusion between government and business is not a secret. There is a "revolving door" to provide officials with legal channels to amass money. Has anyone in the US, or in Europe, been held accountable for such a serious epidemic?

In recent years, Chinese public opinion has discussed social fairness the most and in  the most serious manner, in comparison with that in other countries. In this regard, China has made continuous improvements. In the capitalist system, however, no one even bothers to talk about it. 

China has got rid of poverty through the implementation of a market economy. Different social classes also emerged during the process. But the whole society is highly alert to it, and various restrictive measures have been continuously designed. Now that the banner of common prosperity is raised high, it is by no means an empty slogan, but a serious journey.

Think about it: If it weren't for China to have genuinely practiced the people being the masters of the country, could everything I've mentioned have happened? China and developed countries such as the US were standing at different starting points in terms of economic and social development, but we have done our best on our own level, and we have formed a tendency to catch up with the US and the West in more and more fields. China has even got ahead of them in some dimensions, such as combating public health crises, disaster relief and improving key public facilities. Chinese-style democracy has played a decisive role in promoting these changes.

China has not done everything well. The US and the West still have a lot for us to learn from. However, the whole-process democracy in China is a great practice of universal significance. This situation has become more and more obvious in the big picture of human civilization. 

Some netizens who comment under my Weibo posts should be more confident and not be tied down by Western preaching. I especially want to say to young people that they will definitely see the day when China's GDP becomes twice that of the US' figure in their lifetime, and they will definitely go through subversive changes on some major global issues. The parts in Western ideology that are insanely arrogant about China will collapse. I hope I can see that day too.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn