China’s Approach to Democracy with Shared Human Values

By Muhammad Asif Noor | Gwadar Pro Mar 26, 2023

Editor's note: The writer is the Founder of Friends of BRI Forum. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.


The recent collaboration of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China Media Group, and China International Communications Group resulted in the successful Second International Forum on Democracy: The Shared Human Values Agenda. The aim of the forum was to facilitate extensive discussions on the interdependent relationship between democracy and human values. The forum recognized the significance of shared human values in promoting democracy and established a link between effective democracy, human rights, and sustainable development. Importantly, the forum highlighted that democracy cannot be a "one-size-fits-all" model and must be tailored to meet the unique needs and values of individual countries and nations. This notion of imposing foreign governance models has, in fact, caused chaos in the world rather than bringing peace and prosperity.

As we examine China's Whole Process of People's Democracy, it becomes apparent that the values and historical background of the Chinese community have shaped this system of democracy and decision-making. Through this approach, a strong social contract has been forged between the People's Republic and its citizens. The system values individuals who have risen from grassroots levels to reach the highest echelons of political power within the Communist Party of China based on their merit and contributions to the community. While this governance model may not be preferred by the western world, it is well-suited to China and aligns with the values and beliefs of its people. Inclusivity and participation at the local level are critical features of this democracy model, which illuminates grassroots realities and informs national policies. By leveraging the Communist Party of China's decentralized hierarchy, this approach effectively bridges the gap between people and decision-makers.

The most significant political events in China are the Two Sessions, which comprise the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). These consultative gatherings provide a platform for delegates from all over the country to review and approve or veto CPC policies. By reflecting the interests and concerns of the Chinese people in the national decision-making process, these sessions contribute to more informed and consultative decision-making that serves the people's best interests. In essence, the Whole Process People's Democracy is a critical component of China's sustainable development and has enabled it to become the world's second-largest economy.

The Whole Process People's Democracy in China is a distinct system that reflects the country's unique realities while also being similar to other forms of democracy. Democracy goes beyond just elections and individual freedoms; it involves high levels of political participation and valuing public opinion. The Chinese approach prioritizes political consultations that are participative and consultative, allowing for the public to be a direct stakeholder in the political process. The extensive participation of the people enables strong decision-making, contributing to China's remarkable development.

In the past decade, China has made incredible strides in its development, including lifting over 100 million people out of poverty and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 ten years before the set deadline. China's success has brought a level of moderate prosperity to its society, proving the effectiveness of its unique Whole Process People's Democracy model. It is essential to acknowledge that different democratic systems can lead to different outcomes based on each country's specific conditions. The Chinese model has shown to be effective in promoting sustainable development and prosperity, which may vary from the goals of Western democracy models.

In the global arena, China is a strong advocate for democratic values, recognizing that each country has its own unique system and values. It is not appropriate to label a country as democratic or non-democratic based solely on its governance model. Instead, the essence of democracy lies in fundamental values such as transparency, accountability, and equality. Attempts by any nation or power to impose its own definition of democracy on others go against these principles and undermine the true nature of democracy.

China's democratic approach towards development has enabled the country to share the benefits of its progress with its people. The consistency in leadership and policies is what the entire whole process of people's democracy unique, meaningful and result oriented. This constant approach has been key to the development and progress of the country. While it may not be possible to exactly replicate this model, adjustments can be made to adopt a sincere leadership approach, consistency in policies, and the implementation of decisions that make people lives inclusive and better.

Pakistan faces its own unique set of challenges at the domestic, regional, and global levels however an All-Weather Strategic partnership and China’s development has helped Pakistan come out of its economic worries. China's democratic governance, leadership, and consistency have resulted in its economic growth and development and led to the initiation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and opened China up to the world. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has played a significant role in promoting the growth of Pakistan's economic system across the length and breadth of the country. Moreover, China's governance model is an inspiration for Pakistan in its path to prosperity and peaceful growth.

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