12/10/2021 – Xi Gaslights the World with Ludicrous Claims of Chinese ‘Democracy’

Posted on Dec 10, 2021

source: https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/12/xi-gaslights-the-world-with-ludicrous-claims-of-chinese-democracy/

By JIANLI YANG December 10, 2021 6:30 AM

Everyone understands that China is in fierce competition with the United States economically, geopolitically, technologically, and militarily. The competition is between the world’s most powerful democracy and the world’s most powerful autocracy. It would be ridiculous to think that it’s between two democracies, each striving to be more “authentically” democratic than the other. However, this is exactly the farfetched lie that Chinese leaders are trying to peddle as truth.

Irritated by the much anticipated Summit for Democracy conducted by the Biden administration on December 9 and 10, China responded by issuing a white paper titled “China: Democracy That Works.” Promoting the white paper and China’s model of “whole-process people’s democracy” (a concept recently touted by Chinese dictator Xi Jinping), Le Yucheng, China’s vice minister of foreign affairs, stated that “China is a well-deserved democracy.”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the white paper states that democracy is the right of the people of all countries, not the exclusive domain of only a few nations. It suggests that measuring the world’s diverse political systems with the same yardstick and judging mankind’s variegated political civilizations with low-resolution, monocular vision is undemocratic. The white paper criticizes the U.S. for “monopolizing” the definition of democracy and imposing American-style democracy on other nations.

Although the white paper didn’t name names in its critique of American democracy, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s subsequent report — titled “The State of Democracy in the United States” — opened direct fire, citing a variety of “facts” to expose what it purports to be the sham of American democracy.

The white paper asserts that true democracy — so-called whole-process democracy — exists in China under the CCP. The document portrays whole-process democracy as “perfect” and claims that it is a thousand times better than the electoral democracies of the U.S. and other Western countries. According to the white paper, “whole-process democracy” includes implementing a people’s democratic dictatorship state system, which upholds the organic unity of democracy and dictatorship to ensure the people’s status as masters of the country; implementing a political system of people’s congresses, through which the people effectively exercise state power; adhering to and improving the multiparty cooperation and political-consultation system under the leadership of the CCP, effectively avoiding the drawbacks of deliberation without decision and decision without action, and the drawbacks of lack of supervision of one party and vicious competition among multiple parties; consolidating and developing the broadest possible patriotic front and continuously promoting harmonious relations among political parties, ethnic groups, religions, classes, and compatriots at home and abroad; adhering to and perfecting the system of regional ethnic autonomy, which not only ensures national unity but also realizes that all ethnic groups are masters of the country; adhering to and improving the system of grassroots autonomy for the masses, developing grassroots democracy, and achieving a system of self-management, self-service, self-education, and self-supervision by the people.

According to the white paper, the people’s democratic dictatorship is the core and essence of China’s whole-process democracy. But this is simply a political lie. The CCP has been claiming this throughout its 70-year rule, but for the most part it does not really view its system as democratic. Even during the Mao era, the CCP did not shy away from the fact that its rule was a dictatorship: a dictatorship of one class over another, or, more specifically, a dictatorship of the proletariat (the workers and peasants) over the bourgeoisie — in fact, a dictatorship of the CCP over the people.

The CCP’s laser-like focus on criticizing the United States and Western democracy on the eve of the Summit for Democracy is due to two factors. On one hand, the Chinese government believes that the U.S. intends to use the Summit for Democracy to build an anti-CCP “democratic coalition.” On the other hand, the CCP realizes that, to break free from the United States’ “demonization” of the CCP and escape from its passive position in the democratic discourse, China must sing the praises of democratic values and claim them as its own. After all, the CCP recognizes that democracy is a good system of governance, one that should not be enjoyed exclusively by the West. The CCP is well aware that it is an authoritarian regime, and it would be impossible for it to change its own system.

So, for a long time, the CCP has lacked the courage to refute accusations made by the United States and the West. But looking forward, if the CCP wants to dodge criticism against it on the issue of democracy, its only option is to glorify its totalitarian system and “brand” it as a democracy. This is why Xi Jinping chose to use the term “whole-process democracy” and why he claimed that it “enriches human political civilization” and “opens up a second path to democracy.” There are two reasons the Xi-led CCP is now going on the offensive on the issue of democracy and doesn’t fear a head-to-head confrontation with the U.S. First, the meteoric rise of China has given Xi the illusion that the East is rising and the West is declining. Second, in recent years the United States’ own democratic system has witnessed a variety of problems that have undermined its appeal. That, of course, is something that the U.S. should reflect on and strive to improve.

No matter how much the CCP touts its whole-process democracy, what is fake cannot be made real, no matter how much propaganda Beijing puts out. The white paper’s eloquent description of “whole-process democracy” might mislead or deceive those who lack an understanding of the Chinese system and its workings. But anyone who is familiar it (and especially those within it) can see through the CCP’s lies at a glance, because nothing new has really been added. Indeed, the CCP has maintained the same system, with occasional minor tweaks, ever since it seized power in 1949.

A statement by officials of the State Council Information Office during a press conference to announce the white paper’s release demonstrates why Xi Jinping is unwilling to implement real democracy and is instead touting the CCP’s bogus whole-process democracy: “In a country like China, with 56 ethnic groups and a population of more than 1.4 billion, without the leadership of the Party, especially the centralized and unified leadership of the Party, the so-called ‘democracy’ of the West is easily fragmented and disrupted, and democracy is bound to go in the other direction.” There is nothing that the CCP fears more than that.

Before Xi Jinping seized power in 2012, the CCP was in a passive, defensive position with respect to values. Xi has spent the past nine years trying to reverse that state of affairs, gradually moving from defense to offense. As is evident from the historical resolution adopted at last month’s sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee, the CCP believes that, under Xi’s leadership, China has moved on from the era of Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao — a period during which China was “crossing the river by feeling the stones”; and that Xi has found a way to lead China’s development apart from mainstream human civilization and democracy, freedom, and rule of law. This is what the white paper refers to as the “second road to democracy.”

With respect to that path, Xi Jinping specifically proposed China’s “four self-confidences” — self-confidence of path, theory, system, and culture — to encourage and rally party members. The CCP’s leaders know that the system they have adopted is far from democratic, but they also know in their hearts that democracy is a good thing, so they insist on calling their system a “democracy.” In fact, isn’t this a reflection of the fact that the CCP actually isn’t so confident in its path?

JIANLI YANG is the founder and president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China and the author of For Us, the Living: A Journey to Shine the Light on Truth.