Report on China's approach to democracy, freedom and human rights

08Dec 2021
Correspondent
The Guardian
Report on China's approach to democracy, freedom and human rights

New China Research (NCR), the think tank of China's Xinhua News Agency, released a report on Tuesday titled "Pursuing Common Values of Humanity -- China's Approach to Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights" together with a related documentary.

Guided by the important remarks by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on common values of humanity and based on China's long-term practice in pursuing these values, the report illustrates the institutional strength, cultural background, intrinsic law and world significance of China's practice of "the running of the country by the people" from an academic point of view.

The report consists of four major sections: The Running of the Country by the People: The Overarching Logic of Pursuing the Value of Democracy; Whole-process Democracy: a New Form of Implementing People's Sovereignty; A Democracy that Works: a Touchstone for Testing Institutional Effectiveness; and The Wisdom of Practice: The Enlightenment of Pursuing Common Values of Humanity.

With "the running of the country by the people" at its core, China's democracy adheres to a people-centered approach. It transcends "democracy for the few," "one-time democracy," and "pseudo-universal democracy," ensuring that the broad masses of the people enjoy democratic rights, the report says.

It points out that China is exploring a path of inheritance and innovation in realizing democratic values and is pursuing a "substantial democracy" in which the people are the masters of the country. The democracy China practices is a "whole-process democracy" that covers all aspects and all procedures, a "governance democracy" for good governance, an "efficient democracy" with vitality, a "democracy as a driving force" with collective wisdom, and a testable "systematic democracy."

The Chinese people have come to the conclusion, based on experience, that there is only one criterion for democratic governance: that ordinary people enjoy the dividends of peace and development and live peaceful and happy lives, according to the report.

Well functioning democracy can guarantee and develop freedom and human rights, and can realize the unification of process and results-based democracy, procedural democracy and substantive democracy, direct democracy and indirect democracy, as well as people's democracy and state will, the report says.

Democracy is not a decorative ornament. China is a faithful and innovative practitioner of democracy, freedom and human rights. China has achieved remarkable results in implementing "the running of the country by the people." The success of China's democracy can be attributed to three leading features of its approach to governance: an advanced non-partisan party, a people-centered philosophy, and a development-focused worldview, the report notes.

It argues that in the socialist practice of defending democracy, freedom and human rights, the CPC has put people's overall interests on top of the agenda in its political endeavors, maintained the logic of giving democracy back to the people, and advocated the principles that freedom should enhance the all-round development of the people and happiness is the ultimate standard of human rights.

The CPC has pioneered a new path to China's modernization, and created a new model for human civilization, thus offering Chinese solutions of world significance as answers to the questions of our times, it added.

The report points out that China's exploration has established important principles for the realization of common values of humanity: result-oriented, self-determining, steady-paced and ever-progressing.

The report and the documentary were released in Beijing and Geneva on Tuesday. Experts and scholars from some 100 think tanks of more than 40 countries and regions joined the release event online and offline.

To produce the report, the NCR team conducted in-depth investigations and researches in nearly 30 provincial-level regions across China, interviewed a wide array of experts at home and abroad, and held a series of seminars.

In the documentary, six ordinary Chinese people share their own stories to illustrate China's approach to democracy, freedom and human rights.

The NCR is the only media-based think tank among China's national high-end think tanks. It has produced a series of influential studies, including "Chinese Poverty Alleviation Studies: A Political Economy Perspective," and "People First: Political Commitment of the Century-old Communist Party of China." Enditem

Pursuing Common Values of Humanity -- China's Approach to Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights

Poster shows the documentary "Pursuing Common Values of Humanity: Chinese Stories on Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights" jointly produced by Xinhua News Agency and its think tank, Xinhua News Agency New China Research. (Xinhua)
Poster shows the documentary "Pursuing Common Values of Humanity: Chinese Stories on Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights" jointly produced by Xinhua News Agency and its think tank, Xinhua News Agency New China Research. (Xinhua)