The United States will hold its first Summit for Democracy on December 9 and 10. It invited 110 countries, citizen groups, and individuals to attend. Taiwan was invited – not President Tsai Ing-wen, but Hsiao Mei-chin, Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S. and Councilor Tang Feng will attend. China and Russia were not invited.
On December 4, China’s State Council Information Office released a White Paper “China: Democracy That Works” and held a press conference.
The White Paper called China’s development a “whole process people’s democracy.” “China’s development of this whole-process people’s democracy not only has complete systematic procedures, but also has complete participation. … It makes each part and each aspect of the country’s political life and social life reflect the people’s will and to listen to the people’s voice. It effectively prevents the phenomena of making empty promises (to please voters) at the time of election, but without any follow up after the election.” (Note: the last sentence was a criticism of the Western style of democracy.)
Xi Jinping first brought up the term “whole process democracy” when he visited Shanghai on November 2, 2019. It seemed that Xi was trying to define “China’s democracy,” which had been criticized as a “hollow slogan.”
China’s White Paper also stressed the diversity of democracy – “There are multiple ways to implement democracy and it can’t be seen as one-size-fits-all.” “Assessing the political systems of other countries against a single yardstick and forcing other countries to copy a single country’s political structure and democracy model are in themselves undemocratic. It does not have people’s support and is doomed to fail.”
Foreign reporters asked whether “China and the U.S. are in a fight for the discourse power of democracy” since China published this democracy White Paper right before the U.S. Summit for Democracy.
Xu Lin, Deputy Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s Propaganda Department and Director of the State Council’s Information Office responded by blaming the U.S. for imposing its standard for democracy on other countries and creating a mess in its own domestic management while still pointing fingers at other countries.
Source: BBC, December 4, 2021