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Wu Bangguo: China Will Never Introduce a System Where Multiple Parties Hold Office in Rotation

On March 9, 2009, at the second annual session of the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC), Wu Bangguo, the Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, emphasized in his report that Chinese “will never simply copy the system of Western countries or introduce a system of multiple parties holding office in rotation, a system with the separation of the three powers or a bicameral system.” [1]

Wu said, “Maintaining the correct political direction is the essence of doing the NPC work well. To maintain the correct political direction, the most fundamental issue is that the party’s leadership persists and that China’s political system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persist, not the multi-party system of Western countries. The CCP is the core of China’s leadership and the incumbent party. Various democratic parties are the participating parties, not the incumbent party, nor the opposition party.” [1]

Wu suggested that the congress members should “fully understand the essential difference between the National People’s Congress and the parliaments in Western countries, fully understand the essential difference between the National People’s Congress and “One Government, Two Houses” and the state agencies in Western countries; fully understand the essential difference between the NPC members and the parliament members in Western countries; and improve self-consciousness and firmness in persisting on the socialist road with Chinese characteristics.” He added, “Our NPC members, NPC standing committee members and special committee members, regardless of their being communist party members, democratic party members or non-party persons, all fulfill their responsibilities according to the law under the leadership of the CCP. The NPC makes the laws and resolutions and makes decisions on the country’s major policies according to the party’s wishes and the people’s wishes. The NPC’s work guarantees that the party’s wishes becoming the nation’s will through legal proceedings, and guarantees that the candidates that the party recommends become the state’s leadership personnel through legal proceedings.” “The NPC’s various kinds of work must all benefit the reinforcement and improvement of the party leadership, benefit the consolidation of the party’s ruling status, and benefit the guarantee for the party’s leaders to lead the people and govern the nation effectively.” “The CCP is the core leadership for the enterprise of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The party leadership can only be reinforced but cannot be weakened.” [1]

The Party-run media also expressed a similar view. On March 09, 2009, the Xinhua News Agency reported that Chairman Wu Bangguo’s above expression “is the honorable reiteration on continuing the NPC system under the CCP’s leadership, and is also the dignified declaration of the firm belief that the Chinese people steadfastly walk down the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and constantly develop and improve the democratic system with Chinese characteristics.” [2]

On March 10, the Xinhua News Agency again published an article to further emphasize, “The CCP’s leadership must persist over state agencies. Different levels of government agencies, including state power agencies, administrative agencies and judicial agencies, must all accept the party’s leadership. The two-party system or the multi-party system will never be introduced, nor will the system of ‘multi-party election’ or ‘multiple parties holding office in rotation.’” [3]

On April 1, Qiushi Journal, a magazine publication by the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee Institution, published an article titled “Why the NPC System Must Persist, but We Cannot Introduce a System with the Separation of the Three Powers” by “Qiu Shi” (Autumn Stone), The article said that, “The NPC system which China carries is the people’s democratic system under the CCP’s leadership. China cannot introduce the same kind as the West. Although the capitalist countries flaunt that the ‘power belongs to people,’ in fact it is a ‘money democracy’ and capital rules. In the capitalist countries, a small number of people, relying on their strong capital, can control the democratic demands from the weak middle and lower classes. The magic of money is enough to oppress most people and to keep them silent against the despotism of capital.” (We) must clearly recognize the inherent problems and untruthfulness of bourgeois democracy.” “The NPC system assures the CCP’s leadership and ruling status. It eliminates the system of “multi-party elections” or “multiple parties holding office in rotation” in the political framework. In our country, although various state agencies hold different jobs and responsibilities, they are all under the leadership of the CCP and carry on their jobs having independent responsibilities to perform their duties.” [4] “Qiu Shi” is only a pen name. This group’s members include Yin Zhongqing, Chang Guangmin, Yang Shaohua, and Li Chuanzhu.

On April 16, the Qiushi Journal published another article under the name of “Qiu Shi,” titled "Why the Multi-Party Cooperation and Political Consultation System under the CCP’s Leadership Must Persist, but We Cannot Carry on a Multi-Party Political System like the Westerners.” This article said that “The democratic party members and the non-party persons enter the NPC, government, the Political Consultative Conference and the judicial system to hold leadership positions and establish good cooperation and working relationships with the CCP cadres, which is the important content of our multi-party cooperation and political consultation system and is also an essential requirement for strengthening the party’s ruling ability and state power.” [5].

In order to prove the advantages of a one-party system, on May 1, 2009, Yin Zhongqing, the director of the NPC Standing Committee Research Office, wrote an article for Qiushi Journal, stating that, “The party’s leadership mainly focuses on politics, ideology and organization. Through the establishments of major policies, the proposals on legislation and the recommendations of important cadres, it carries out the ideological propaganda, party organization and party member’s functions, performs duties according to the law and implements the party’s leadership of the country and society. All levels of administrative agencies, including the state power agencies, the administrative agencies and the judicial agencies, must maintain the party’s leadership and accept the party’s leadership. The party organizations must be established within the NPC and the Standing Committee. The party organizations’ responsibility is to lead the NPC members and the Standing Committee members to fulfill the party’s leadership. Through legal proceedings, they make the party’s proposal become the nation’s will, and make the candidates recommended by the party organization become the state power leaders and carry on surveillance for them at the same time. The NPC and the standing committee are not organizations of the parties’ consultation. The democratic party members and the non-party persons enter the NPC and the standing committee through legal elections by the voters or the electoral units so they cannot conduct activities as the representatives of their parties and groups.” “We maintain the NPC system so that (we can) lift up high the flag of socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics … maintain the central concentration of power and maintain the CCP’s ruling status.” [6]

There was another article in the same issue of the Qiushi Journal, “Why We Must Persist on the Road of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, but Cannot Take another Path.” It said that, “At present, the international financial crisis caused by the loan crisis in the U.S. has exposed the inherent shortcomings of the capitalist system. But socialism with Chinese characteristics actually displays “only good scenery,” unfolds the full vitality, and has attracted more and more people’s vision. In the last few years, in the overseas media and academic circles, the discussion of “Beijing mutual recognition,” the “Chinese pattern,”  “China experiences,”, and “China development path” are very exciting. China has already shown its significant and profound impact on maintaining world peace, promoting community development and impelling human cultural progress, and will continue to do so.” “In contemporary China, only the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics and no other flag can, at its maximum limit, unite and abridge different social classes and different social groups’ wisdom and the strength; only the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics and no other path can lead China to realize its renaissance; only the theory system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and no other principle can lead China’s development to progress.”  “During its development process, socialism must absorb all outstanding civilized achievements that humanity had created, including the civilized achievements created in capitalist society.” And it pointed out, “After passing through a long historic process, socialism will eventually defeat capitalism.” [7]

The article also said that we need to, “maintain Marxism’s guiding position in the ideological domain; maintain the CCP’s leadership over the entire country and enterprise development; maintain the consolidation of state power with the people’s democratic dictatorship; maintain the socialist road; maintain socialism’s basic economic system with domination over the public ownership system as the main system, along with communal development of many kinds of ownership systems; continue realizing and developing socialist democracy; maintain that the development achievement benefits all people; maintain social justice; gradually realize the common richness, and maintain the scientific development concept with the domination of humanity and the comprehensive coordination of sustainable development. All these above indicate that we have the reform and open policy and that (traditions from) “ancestors” have not been discarded. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is surnamed “Socialism,” but is not surnamed “Capitalism.”… “The socialist system is the lifeblood of China’s development; the socialist direction that China has developed does not allow it to be changed; China will not go down an evil path under a different banner. This did not happen in the past and will not happen in the future.” [7]

At the end, this article said, “Since the start of the reform and open policy, Chinese communists….have focused on consolidation and development of the socialist system,….have formed the overall layout for building a socialist market economy,  socialist democratic politics, socialist advanced culture and a socialist harmonious society; have formed a whole set of policy systems covering the economic, political, cultural, social, technical, and diplomatic reunification of the motherland, the party’s construction and so on, suitable with the fundamental realities of the socialist initial stage. …Only then can socialism save China.” [7].

[1] NPC Standing Committee Work Report by Wu Bangguo, Chairman
[2] Xinhua News Agency, March 9, 2009, “The 11th NPC Second Session Holds Second All Hands Meeting,”
[3] Xinhua News Agency, March 10, 2009, “‘Two Absolute No’s’ is Country’s Foundation and People’s Wish,” by Bi Xiaozhe,
[4] Qiushi Journal, April 1, 2009, “Why Must Persist the NPC System, but Cannot Introduce a System with the Separation of the Three Powers," by “Qiu Shi”,
[5] Qiushi Journal, April 16, 2009, by “Qiu Shi”, “Why Persist the Multi-Party Cooperation and Political Consultation System under CCP’s Leadership, but Cannot Carry on a Multi-Party Political System like the West," by “Qiu Shi”,
[6] Qiushi Journal, May 1, 2009, “Persist and Improve NPC system,” by Yin Zhongqing,
[7] Qiushi Journal, May 1, 2009, "Why We Must Persist on the Road of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, but Cannot Take Another Path," by “Qiu Shi,”