Democracy is an outcome of the development of political civilization of mankind. It is also the common desire of people all over the world. Democracy of a country is generated internally, not imposed by external forces.
The Chinese government emblem and 为人民服务 — ‘serving the people’ Until recent centuries. China has a history of 5,000 years of civilization and It is generally acknowledged in the world that the Chinese people are industrious, courageous and full of wisdom. The experience of political civilization of mankind over a history of several millenniums is ample proof of the truth that the political system a country adopts and the road to democracy it takes must be in conformity with the conditions of that country. It is the apt choice suited to China’s conditions and meeting the requirement of social progress.
Building of Political Democracy in China, A Choice Suited to China’s Conditions
In the course of their modern history, the Chinese people have waged unrelenting struggles and made arduous explorations in order to win their democratic rights. But only under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) did they really win the right to be masters of the state. The Chinese people dearly cherish and resolutely protect their hard-earned democratic achievements.
Because situations differ from one country to another, the paths the people of different countries take to win and develop democracy are different. Based on the specific conditions of China, the CPC and the Chinese people first engaged in a New Democratic Revolution, and after New China was founded in 1949, and proceeding from the actual situation of the primary stage of socialism, began to practice socialist democracy with its own characteristics. The experience over the past few decades has proved that embarking on this road of development of political democracy chosen by the Chinese people themselves not only realized the Chinese people’s demand to be masters of their own country, but is also gradually realizing their common ideal to build their country into a strong and modern socialist country.
Socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics is being constantly improved and developed. Since China adopted the reform and opening-up policies at the end of the 1970s, while making efforts to steadily deepen the reform of its economic system, the country has unswervingly pushed forward reforms of its political system. China’s democratic system has been continuously improved, and the forms of democracy are becoming more varied. The people are exercising fully their right to be masters of the state. The building of political democracy with Chinese characteristics is progressing with the times, exhibiting great vigor and vitality.
Organizational Chart of the Chinese Communist Party Central Leading Bodies (source: xinhua.net)
Brief Introduction of the Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China (CPC) was founded on July 1, 1921 in Shanghai, China. After 28 years of struggle, the CPC finally won victory of “new-democratic revolution” and founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The CPC is the ruling party of mainland China (P.R. China).
The Communist Party of China is founded mainly on ideology and politics. The CPC derives its ideas and policies from the people’s concentrated will and then turns that will into State laws and decisions which are passed by the National People’s Congress of China through the State’s legal procedures. Theoretically, CPC does not take the place of the government in the State’s leadership system. The Party conducts its activities within the framework of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the law and has no right to transcend the Constitution and the law. All Party members, like all citizens in the country, are equal before the law.
The Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, held in December 1978, decided to shift the focus of the Party’s work to socialist modernization and set a policy of reform and opening up to the outside world.
Any Chinese who has reached the age of 18, accepts the Party’s Program and Constitution and is willing to join and work actively in one of the Party organizations, carry out the Party’s decisions and pay membership dues regularly, may apply for membership of the CPC. Its membership increased from 70 in 1921 to over 66 million in 2002.
The highest leading body of the Party is the National Congress and the Central Committee elected by it. The National Congress of the Party is held once every five years and convened by the Central Committee.
The People’s Congress System
The people’s congress system is the fundamental political system by which the Chinese people act as masters of the state. The Chinese people exercise state power through the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the local people’s congresses at various levels.
China has adopted a unicameral parliamentary system based on its national conditions, rather than the bicameral system instituted in Western countries. The Chinese Constitution stipulates: the NPC of the PRC is the highest organ of state power. In China, all administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs of the state are created by the people’s congresses to which they are responsible and by which they are supervised. All major issues of the state are decided by the people’s congresses. The administrative organs are responsible for implementing the laws, resolutions and decisions adopted by the people’s congresses. The courts and procuratorates exercise their respective powers of jurisdiction and prosecution independently, in line with the stipulations of the law, free from interference by any administrative authority, social organization or individual.
The System of Multi-Party Cooperation and Political Consultation Under the Leadership of the CPC
In China, the CPC and the democratic parties share the same goal of struggle. The Chinese Constitution states that “under the leadership of the Communist Party of China multi-party cooperation and the political consultative system will continue to exist and develop for a long time to come.” The cooperation between the CPC and the democratic parties is based on the basic principle of “long-term coexistence, mutual supervision, treating each other with sincerity and sharing each other’s weal and woe.” The national conditions and the nature of the state determine that the leadership of the CPC is the first and foremost prerequisite and fundamental guarantee for the multi-party cooperation. At the same time, such a leadership is not one of simple monopoly, but one of political leadership, that is, leadership in terms of political principle, political orientation, and major policies and programs. Both the CPC and the democratic parties take the Constitution as the basic norms of their conduct, and shoulder the responsibility to uphold the dignity of the Constitution and ensure its implementation.
The CPC Led the People to Become Masters of the State
The CPC’s leading status was established gradually in the protracted struggle and practice of the Chinese people in pursuing national independence, prosperity and a happy life. It was a choice made by history and by the people. The Chinese revolution, construction and reform have demonstrated to the world that it was the CPC that led the Chinese people to find the correct road to win national independence and liberation. It was the CPC that led the Chinese people to find the correct road to build China into a prosperous, democratic and civilized modern country. It is precisely because of this historical reason that the CPC’s leading status is clearly described in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.
Today, the CPC’s leadership and rule in China is an objective requirement of the country’s development and progress.