New Worker Banner

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

China’s democracy that works

by John Maryon

THE OUTSTANDING economic growth and progressive political development of People’s China have been impressive and dramatic. With a civilisation extending back over 5000 years the country has entered a period of rapid development. It is now just over 100 years since the Chinese Communist Party was formed and 73 years since Mao Zedong was able to proclaim the People’s Republic of China at an historic gathering in Tiananmen Square.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) has given the leadership to transform what was one of the poorest counties in the world from a semi-feudal society into a modern socialist state. The CPC has now successfully eradicated the last vestiges of poverty for the people. Also with its Belt and Road initiative, based upon infrastructure development and fair trade practices, the developing world will be in a better position to rid itself of the effects of neo-colonialism.

China has become a major force for peace. It can be said to have taken over the role formally held by the Soviet Union in becoming the most powerful socialist state. It offers economic assistance to poor countries and has played an important role in helping the international efforts to combat the COVID‑19 pandemic. People’s China has become a beacon of hope for all oppressed people.

The USA sees People’s China as a threat to its world hegemony and attempts with sanctions, trade embargoes and military threats to weaken and obstruct their progress. It is against this background that the USA and its craven allies have embarked upon a new cold war against the People’s Republic. Outrageous lies are told to support allegations of genocide against ethnic minorities in China, to allege that the country is preparing for war and is undemocratic with widespread abuses of human rights. With its own dismal record and images, still in people’s minds, of a black man being choked to death, the USA is in no position to lecture others.

Today’s reality is that the past centuries of feudal autocracy in China, made worse by the 1840 opium wars, held back a great nation. Under the leadership of the CPC one could say that the dragon has awakened as all the people of China can now work to build a new free and prosperous society. The State Council of the CPC has issued an important White Paper entitled China Democracy that Works, which shows the true situation in modern China today.

The document defines what we mean by democracy, examines the various types, and shows that it is a relative quantity that requires some qualification. It explains that democracy is a growing process that can take diverse forms as it develops along the paths chosen by different nations.

To judge a democracy the following areas are considered important:

People’s China ticks all the right boxes.

The point is made that democracy is not just a useless decorative ornament that hides reality and masks the truth without offering any real choice. This could be the case with many bourgeois democracies where the election of Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee changes nothing. The National People’s Congress is the highest state body in China.

It has the power to appoint or remove the President and other senior government officials. Election of its over 2,980 members takes place every five years. China’s constitution stipulates that all power belongs to the people and the political system includes local people’s congresses.

China’s democracy thrives in a wise nation with a long history. A nation that under the leadership of the CPC has been transformed into an advanced socialist state with a mixed economy. The CPC co-operates with eight other smaller parties representing various ethnic, religious and social groups in a Broad Patriotic Front. The National Congress of the CPC takes place every five years, at which representatives of its more than 95 million members can appoint the central committee and General Secretary. The CPC represents the people – not the vested interests of a privileged elite.

The period 1949–1978 was a time of consolidation of state power and of socialist transformation of the means of production, including the abolition of private land. After 1978 a process of opening-up and socialist modernisation was undertaken. It has, however, remained fundamental that China would always stick to a socialist political process with Chinese characteristics. The CPC has led the people to become masters of their own country.

It important to realise that CPC objectives to build a full Communist society are intended to take place over an extended period of time. The creation of a new society will result from gradual changes of both a quantitative and a qualitative nature, and with changes of direction to cope with new conditions as they arise.

The White Paper points out that civilizations are enriched by exchanges and mutual learning. The Chinese people are willing to work together with all peoples of the world to carry forward the common values of humanity: peaceful development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom.

An important factor that can adversely affect the democratic process is corruption. President Xi Jinping has made it an important priority during his tenure to tackle all forms of corruption. The CPC spares no effort to build trust and respect between officials and the people.

The White Paper concludes that there is always scope to improve the system of democracy and suggests that humanity’s quest for improving the process will never end. Today the world is experiencing change on a scale unseen in the past, creating new opportunities, hopes and challenges. The CPC seeks to pursue peaceful development, increased democracy and improve the people’s well-being.