China has steadily risen and developed over the past decades. It has been a proponent of a democracy that is intrinsic to a country’s culture, traditions, and history with the people as the pivot.
In that regard, China also released a White Paper before the US Democracy Summit, to enlighten the world about Whole-Process People’s Democracy.
Dissimilar to the US’ demeanor, China is an advocate of shared human values and endeavors to ensure the well-being of the people.
China believes in joint efforts and mutual collaboration to ensure peace and stability in the world and shuns the notions of coercion, meddling, separatism, regime change, social turbulence as well as confrontation.
The White Paper
The Chinese White Paper titled, “China: Democracy that Works”, was published to answer the US propaganda against the country. The paper argues that democracy is not a mere adornment.
Instead, it is a wholesome concept with the people at its center. A true democracy ensures the well-being of its people, as opposed to manipulating them as marionettes.
The White Paper explains that the brand of democracy that the US advocates, is democratic hegemony in disguise. Such a democracy will have unlimited ramifications as it will lead to an ideologically divided world.
The concept of democracy is an ever-evolving phenomenon that stems from the history, culture, and tradition of a country. Every country has a different history, tradition, norms, and culture. Democracy isn’t a one size fits all notion.
Likewise, instead of replicating the Western brand of democracy, China has its own where people are the masters of their destiny, as well as the country.
Whole-Process People’s Democracy
China has a Whole-Process People’s Democracy with unique Chinese characteristics that exemplify the universal craving of humankind for democracy.
The White Paper proclaims that the Whole-Process People’s Democracy is the impetus behind the successful development and growth of the country leading to the renaissance of the nation as a whole. Additionally, it has also presented a different model of democracy to the global political arena.
The White Paper claims that prejudice, arrogance, and antagonism towards the efforts of other countries; to explore their paths to democracy are the real threat to democracy. Furthermore, the real hazard to world peace is a penchant for imposing one’s model of democracy on others.
US’ Democracy Summit
In a bid to rally the world to its version of democratic ideology, the US hosted a Democracy Summit. The Summit was a two-day event. However, the quintessential maneuver is as obvious as it can be, given the track record of the US.
Even though earlier, the Presidents of both the US and China had an amicable digital summit, so far the US has proven to be averse to accepting the olive branch.
The most recent example is the politicization of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, by the US as well as the subsequent Democracy Summit where China and Russia weren’t invited.
Modern history is interspersed with the examples of the US efforts to enact its brand of democracy in other countries. The US-led invasions in the name of democracy, have left nothing but destruction in their wake.
The prevalent turmoil in Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen are some of the examples, where the US tried to impose its notion of democracy.
Whereas, in comparison, China has opted for a trajectory of development instead of resorting to coercion or aggression. It has been systematically helping other countries to prosper economically through multilateral ventures like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China is increasingly helping developing countries in Africa and Asia through mutually advantageous ventures.
Distinctive Contours of Chinese Democracy
China derives wisdom and strength from its fine traditions as well as a 5,000 years old culture. Moreover, it observes conformity with its distinctive characteristics and realities.
Unlike the US, China has never endeavored to enforce its notion of democracy on any other country, nor does it intend to, in the future. China adheres to the policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
Au contraire, the US, driven by its agenda has had a different history. In an attempt of restoring peace in the other countries, the US has only upset international peace and stability and is continuously doing so. Due to its inclinations, the US has upended many lives, economies, and countries, causing causalities and displacement of millions.
Democracy doesn’t target the people. It doesn’t advocate war. It is for the people, by the people. Unfortunately, so far the US has been unable to grasp the true essence of democracy in its quest of staying relevant.
*The writer is Research Fellow at Centre for BRI and China Studies-Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies