Democracy Is, As Democracy Does

Photo taken on May 28, 2020 shows a view of the Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

“Xinhua Commentary: Chinese democracy deserves being well understood” – XinhuaNet

If the United States can refer to its own system of government as being a ‘democracy’ – though to many observers that would be a somewhat overstretched point – then there is no reason why China should not see a form of democracy in its own governmental system.  That seems to be a fair statement to me.

It is therefore not surprising that China would want that thought to be well understood – hence why Xinhua editor, Huaxia, presumably wrote this piece.

Whether you can find it in yourself to agree with the notion entirely, the piece does contain some gems of wisdom.  Here are a few – and I hope they will prove sufficient to encourage you to read the whole of it.  China is an ancient nation which, while experiencing many ups and downs over the millennia, is one of the few nations that has retained its cultural heritage unquashed by the events of history.  Having retained that wisdom of the ages for so long, in fact making China the oldest continuous culture in the world, where many other cultures largely disappeared or were subsumed into a stronger culture, losing much of their identity, the world should be paying more attention to China’s peaceful assertions of its inherited culture and wisdom than appears to be the case today.  Misrepresentations of misunderstandings, whether genuine or contrived by those who seek to deny any such role to China, are what lies most deeply behind the unrealistic opinions carried by many non-Chinese people today.  Clearing up those misunderstandings and refuting those misrepresentations would seem to be a most constructive and worthwhile task.  But not an easy one.

The quotes I mentioned:

“Socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics is something new that is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese culture, created in revolutionary and constructive periods, and gradually improved in times of reform.”

“Democracy is to be used to address problems that the people want to solve, rather than an ornament to be used for decoration.”

“There is no perfect democracy, only democracy that fits best.”

“Only the person wearing the shoes knows if they fit. Only the people can tell if the development path they have chosen for their country is suitable.”

“If people’s opinions are heard and their concerns are addressed, if their interests are put first and their lives are constantly improving, theirs is surely a workable, efficient democracy that suits their country and is full of vigor and vitality.”

I will make no comment on these things – that is not my job.  Only you can determine how that fits or doesn’t fit into your own world view.  I am merely providing the opportunity for you to read and think about these things – which  may not otherwise have been presented to you as a matter for consideration.

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