Chinese Whole Process Democracy is an Oxymoron

Remember that Democracy Summit that was convened by the Biden administration last year? The Communist Chinese had burrs under their saddles because they weren’t invited while claiming that they practice some they made up called “whole process democracy.”

Immediately prior to the Summit, there had been a daily barrage from the Communists about the alleged divisiveness of the meeting and the usual supposed shortcomings of the US, including the following messaging examples:

  • The “sorry state” of US democracy: “[J]ust a week ago, the US was added to the annual list of ‘backsliding’ democracies for the first time by the Sweden-based International IDEA think tank.”
  • The Summit is selling a lie: “Far from spreading ‘peace’ around the world, the ‘Summit for Democracy’ will create monstrous new ideological divisions. It will be used as a stepping stone to divide the world even more catastrophically than the Cold War did.”
  • Democracy is “not the prerogative” of the US. “[D]emocracy is a universal right of all peoples, ‘not a prerogative of a certain country or a group of countries’, and that democracy ‘can be realized in multiple ways’ and ‘no model can fit all countries.’”
  • The “summit for democracy” is anything but democratic. “Such a summit instigates hatred and divisions at a time when unity is the need of the hour, as the world is reeling under a raging pandemic, rising protectionism, and the mounting threat of climate change.”
  • Chinese think tank’s report reveals truths about American democracy. “[A]ll believe that the U.S. should face its democracy issues, listen to the real voices of other countries, correct its wrongdoings both at home and abroad, and actually start to seek benefits for people in the U.S. and the entire world.”
  • What is “true democracy”? “History and reality have fully proved that China’s democratic model conforms to its own national conditions and is supported by the people. It is true and successful democracy that works.”

The deluge of articles and commentary about the Summit in Chinese media in the lead-up to the meeting was simply been incredible! The above list was just a sampling. Beijing left uninvited definitely stirred up a hornet’s nest in the state-run Chinese media. While it is quite understandable that Chinese communists do not understand what a real democracy consists of in terms of generally accepted principles around the world, there are at least two specific political reasons for the CCP’s flood of crocodile tears:

1. Xi Jinping, Chinese diplomats, and Chinese state-run media have spent considerable time and resources propagandizing over the past several years that Chinese “whole process democracy” puts China automatically on the list of democratic nations of the world. This is part of the Chinese Communist Party’s political and psychological warfare campaign against their main adversary, the United States, and their absence at a summit attended by the world’s democratic nations completely undercut their propaganda investment on the subject.

2. Xi’s absence from the summit also undercut another major CCP propaganda theme – that the US is in decline, and world leadership should be ceded to China’s “New World Order” (with “Chinese characteristics,” of course). Xi has been boldly and unilaterally asserting Chinese leadership in many nooks and crannies of human endeavors in recent years: quantum technology research, space exploration, military uses of space (hypersonic glide vehicles), artificial intelligence, social credit systems, total response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and variants, digital currency, and much more. Not being able to pontificate in another international forum must have pricked his pride, hence, the flurry of negative articles about the summit in CCP-controlled media.

Let us dispense with the notion that Chinese “whole process democracy” is any kind of democracy whatsoever. Xi frequently touts its supposed benefits, with this statement being typical: “People’s democracy is whole-process democracy. Whether people enjoy democratic rights or not depends on whether they have the right to cast votes, as well as whether they have the right to constantly participate in everyday political activities. Besides having the right to democratic elections, it also depends on whether they have right to democratic decision-making, democratic management, and democratic oversight.”

Xi obfuscates the truth, as all communists learn to do throughout their careers. In this instance, the key word in his statement is “people.” The people to which he refers are the members of the CCP who are the “first among equals” at all levels of Chinese government, including national, provincial, prefecture, and county, all the way down to towns and villages. The so-called “party secretaries” – CCP members all! – outrank the government officials at every level of government.

What kind of democracy permits unelected members of the predominant political party in a nation to make and overrule all the key decisions at every level of government? How on earth can Xi imply that non-CCP members can somehow “have the right to democratic decision-making” and other similar nonsense when only the CCP can pull the strings? What good does it do for the average citizen to “cast a vote” under these circumstances?

And it is patently absurd to believe that the opinions of average Chinese citizens have any impact on Xi Jinping’s decision-making process whatsoever as – unlike in almost all truly democratic nations – he is not accountable to the will of the people at the ballot box. That is certainly not democracy as the rest of the world understands it!

Furthermore, none of the major governing bodies at the national level in Communist China are elected by the Chinese people:

  • The rough equivalent to the US’s executive branch includes the CCP’s 7-member Political Bureau (Politburo) Standing Committee (PBSC) that runs the country, the 25 members of the CCP’s full Politburo that supersedes the PBSC when in session, the five departments and seven commissions of the CCP Central Committee bureaucracy, the state president (the head of state), the cabinet-level equivalent of the State Council, the Central Military Commission that controls the People’s Liberation Army and adjunct military services, and the CCP’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission that are charged with “enforcing party discipline.” All of these people are non-elected CCP cadre.
  • The National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s unicameral legislature, approximates the US Congress. NPC’s ~3,000 member delegates are “elected” by provincial-level people’s congresses from among a list of names provided by the CCP. So much for the “democratic elections of national level representatives” in the People’s Republic of China! The NPC has the responsibility to maintain and change the Chinese constitution, which was dissected and determined to be non-democratic in operation in this commentary.
  • The Chinese judicial system consists of a multi-layered court system that includes the national-level People’s Supreme Court; Higher People’s Courts for every province, directly administered city, and autonomous region; Intermediate People’s Courts (similar to US municipal courts), and Basic People’s Courts located in rural counties or municipal districts. The average Chinese citizen has no democratic means to influence the judicial system. All judges are CCP members who are elected/appointed by the NPC and not accountable to Chinese citizens. No known judgments have ever been rendered against the collective (and arbitrary) interests of the CCP.

Are the above institutions the product of Xi’s “whole process democracy”? Just where is the “democracy” hiding in the byzantine Chinese government anyway? Are the governing institutions of the PRC even legitimate because the system was certainly not set up through peaceful democratic action and the will of average Chinese but rather under the bayonets of Mao Zedong’s People’s Liberation Army at the express direction of the CCP? Without the omnipresent coercion and threats from the CCP, would average Chinese consider the CCP-run government to be legitimate as Xi and others assert?

Whole process democracy is Communist gobbledygook, and “democracy with Chinese characteristics” seems a whole lot like communist dictatorship to most people around the world. No wonder Communist China was not invited to the US’s Democracy Summit!

The end

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2 thoughts on “Chinese Whole Process Democracy is an Oxymoron”

  1. Theirs is one party rule, which means it is a one party totalitarian dictatorship, not even close to a Democracy.

    Ours is a republic, as opposed to what every living creature calls our form of governance, democracy. If we can’t understand our own government, why the heck bother with China’s latest claim? We know they are communist and we know we are a republic. Good enough for me.
    Any Democracy Summit held in the United States is a complete misnomer. We need to quit letting Democrats pick what words are used.

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