Whether a country is democratic or not should be judged by the international community and not by a few “self-appointed judges”, China on Saturday said in an official document as it ramps up criticism against the upcoming US-organised Summit for Democracy.
“There is no fixed model of democracy,” China said in the official document titled China: Democracy That Works, published on Saturday, which details its democratic endeavors.
The document said whether a country is democratic “should be acknowledged by the international community, not arbitrarily decided by a few self-appointed judges”.
“Over the past hundred years, the Party has led the people in realising people’s democracy in China. The Chinese people now truly hold in their hands their own future and that of society and the country,” the paper said, the official CGTN channel reported.
China has termed its system “whole-process people’s democracy” after President Xi Jinping proposed the concept two years ago in Shanghai, according to Chinese official media.
Ruled by the Communist Party of China (CPC) since 1949, China’s governance is firmly under the party’s control with all functions of the government – including the legislature and judiciary – fully compliant to rules laid down by the CPC.
China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, is considered largely ceremonial and a rubber-stamp for decisions finalised by the CPC.
The definition does not include a free media nor universal suffrage for national office.
Considered to have become increasingly authoritarian under Xi, the phrase “whole-process democracy” was enshrined in law this past March.
Beijing has sharply criticised the Summit for Democracy to be held next week with Communist Party of China (CPC) officials calling it a “joke” at the release of the Chinese document on democracy on Saturday.
“The US is a self-styled leader of democracy, but its so-called summit of democracy is only aimed at suppressing and containing countries with a different development model,” said Tian Peiyan, deputy director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC’s central committee.
“it is set to become a joke and will not be popular,” Tian said.
“Such democracy brings not happiness but disaster to voters,” he said.
China has consistently criticised the west for trying to supplant its democratic model on other countries.
Neither China nor Russia are among about 110 governments invited to Biden’s two-day virtual Summit for Democracy, which starts on Thursday.
The participation of Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that China claims is a breakaway region has further angered Beijing.
“Xi has long used the claim that the party’s governance is superior to that of the West in order to legitimise the party’s monopoly of power,” Charles Parton, a former British diplomat and a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told Reuters.
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