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Whole-process people’s democracy: Defining feature of socialist democracy

ZHANG YANE | 2022-11-10 | Hits:
Chinese Social Sciences Today

A consultative meeting on environmental health improvements in Shibing County, Guizhou Province, May 23 Photo: CFP


In his report to the 20th CPC National Congress, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping announced that “the whole-process people’s democracy is the defining feature of socialist democracy; it is democracy in its broadest, most genuine, and most effective form.” This was the first time that the CPC National Congress declared that “the whole-process people’s democracy is the defining feature of socialist democracy.” It is a new proposition with far-reaching implications. This proposition broadens the theoretical and practical space of socialist democracy, affirms the political requirements of Chinese modernization, and points the direction to begin building a socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics on the new journey.


Inductive proposition

“The whole-process people’s democracy is the defining feature of socialist democracy.” This is an inductive proposition, which reflects our deepening understanding of the internal laws of socialist democracy.


Socialist democracy, based on public ownership of the means of production, has put an end to the development of exploitative systems of democracy. For the first time in human history, the power of the state has truly fallen into the hands of the people, and it has truly become a new form for the people’s democracy under the rule of the overwhelming majority.


The 20th CPC National Congress report drew a significant conclusion that “the whole-process people’s democracy is the defining feature of socialist democracy,” which is the inevitable conclusion of interactions between the practical and theoretical logic of socialist democracy. This statement signifies that our understanding of socialist democracy’s internal laws has reached a new height. It is another innovative construction of theory of the socialist people’s democracy.


Value proposition

“The whole-process people’s democracy is the defining feature of socialist democracy.” This is a value proposition, which reiterates our important mission and task of consistently advancing socialism with Chinese characteristics on the new journey.


It is necessary to understand the relationship between constructing democratic politics and the larger framework of Chinese modernization, to understand the intrinsic relationship between promoting the whole-process people’s democracy and realizing high-quality development, achieving common prosperity for all and building a human community with a shared future, and creating a new form of human advancement while upholding the whole-process people’s democracy as the defining feature of the socialist democracy.


Practical proposition

“The whole-process people’s democracy is the defining feature of socialist democracy.” This is a practical proposition that delineates political requirements for advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through Chinese modernization.


First, the basic principle of socialist democracy should be upheld, which is unity between Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance.


Second, the basic position of people’s democracy should be upheld. We should uphold a people-centered development philosophy and strengthen the institutional guarantees through which the people run the country. We must uphold and improve our country’s foundational, basic, and important political systems. We will support and ensure that the people exercise state power through the people’s congresses.


Third, the characteristics and advantages of the process’ “wholeness” should be fully exercised. The whole-process people’s democracy explores a democratic institutional system that integrates democratic elections, consultations, decision-making, management, and oversight, expands democratic channels and diversifies democratic forms.


Zhang Yane is a professor from the School of Marxism at Xi’an University of Finance and Economics.


 

 

Edited by ZHAO YUAN