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Whole-process people's democracy applauded

The label "autocracy", which some in the West place on China's system of government, is not fair, and China's whole-process people's democracy greatly promotes consultation with the people at all levels for people-focused scientific decision-making, said Colin Mackerras, emeritus professor at Griffith University.

Mackerras said the just-concluded annual two sessions of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference are important events in exercising China's whole-process people's democracy which is yet to be understood and embraced by the outside world.

"This year marks the 75th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, and (the meetings) will be more important than ever," he said.

Mackerras spoke about how China's democracy works, noting the public's participation, consultative decision-making and people-focused mechanisms.

The CPPCC is highly participative and contributes hugely to consultations between the government and people, resulting in the effectiveness of China's democracy and governance, Mackerras said.

He noted that CPPCC's composition includes representatives of parties other than the Communist Party of China and that the members comprise people from various walks of life, including workers, intellectuals, diplomats, health workers and so on.

Both the NPC and the CPPCC National Committee and their local branches have promoted Chinese-style democracy everywhere, while proposals of deputies and advisers go to the government departments for eventual action.

Noting that whole-process people's democracy has gained traction, Mackerras said it's a process in which the leaders consult with ordinary people through various ways, including direct discussions and social media.

He cited a Xinhua report that said that at the end of June 2022, Chinese cadres and leaders gathered 8.54 million online opinions on China's then-forthcoming 20th Communist Party of China National Congress. The report noted that people had submitted numerous constructive ideas and suggestions.

China's system of government is a form of democracy, and the popular confidence in government is high, Mackerras said.

Emphasis on consultation

Whole-process people's democracy greatly promotes consultation with the people at all levels. It puts the emphasis on consultation at all levels and on effective and stable governance, helping improve the lives of people.

The popular impression in the West is that China is a one-party state, in which only the CPC has any involvement in government, but that is not the case, Mackerras said.

While it is true that the CPC exercises leadership in the country, there are eight other parties that have representatives in government bodies. Therefore, China is not a one-party state, Mackerras said.

Since the days when the Communist Party of China ran bases during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), "the Party has developed a system of democracy featuring consultations between the Party and the masses of ordinary people", he said.

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2022 survey, based on feedback from over 36,000 respondents from 28 nations, found China at the top of the list for people's trust in government.

Mackerras said that confidence in the future, including the economic future, is far better in China than in the Western democracies, and in particular better than the levels in the US and Britain.

In political and social terms, the US is currently more divided than ever and is beset with many other problems, Mackerras said.

Source:China Daily / 2024-03 / 13 /Page010
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