▷ From the grass roots to the legislator: A look at China’s “democracy in the overall process”

25.10.2021 – 20:22


Peking (ots/PRNewswire)

The concept of Chinese democracy is not the same as that of the West. The Chinese political system is more about finding consensus with a bigger voice than the lengthy negotiations that are common in the West to reach decisions.

The application of democratic principles in China follows an approach that Chinese President Xi Jinping has described as “people’s democracy in the overall process”. The concept was introduced about two years ago during a visit by Xi to a civic center in Shanghai.

Based on the People’s Congress system, “People’s Democracy in the Whole Process” enables the Chinese people to participate fully and continuously in day-to-day politics at all levels, including democratic elections, political consultations, decision-making and control.

The story of the Chinese legislator Liu Li gives an insight into how democracy works in China, which is based on a comprehensive process.

The path of a foot massage therapist in China’s highest legislature

Liu, a member of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s highest legislature, has fought her way into this influential position from the grassroots.

She was born into a poor rural family in Yingshang, a small county in east China’s Anhui Province. At the age of 14, she dropped out of school and worked to support the education of her four siblings.

After leaving home penniless, she went to Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, to work as a waitress and nanny before finding a job as an apprentice at a foot massage center in Xiamen, east China’s Fujian Province.

Their humble origins haven’t stopped them from being charitable. Liu dropped out of school, but she didn’t want anyone else to do as she did. From 2006 to 2010 it supported over 100 students.

Liu’s benevolence made her a national celebrity. She was called “the most beautiful foot massage therapist in China” and later became the representative of migrant workers and the rural population in China’s highest legislative body.

In 2012, Liu was elected to the local legislature in Xiamen and became a member of the National People’s Congress in 2013. A year later, she moved back to Anhui, where she runs a foot massage parlor and community center for the elderly. She was elected as a member of the 13th NPT.

Democracy is not an ornament

Unlike MPs in the West who have careers in politics, Chinese MPs to the National People’s Congress like Liu work part-time, and many of them are ordinary citizens from all walks of life, including farmers, factory workers, artisans, and even street sweepers.

At the annual general assembly, the MPs of the National People’s Congress review and decide on important legal documents and personnel changes, including the election of the President and Vice-President of China every five years and the submission of motions and proposals.

Liu’s proposals focused on disadvantaged groups such as the elderly, children and migrant workers. In 2018, Liu proposed that the NPC set up local “one-stop” help centers to investigate cases of child sexual abuse. Your proposal was taken up by the NPC and action was taken.

The Dingyuan County Procuratorate in Anhui took the lead and set up a youth legal education center to handle such cases and minimize the negative impact on children during the investigation. There are now 15 such centers in the province.

Liu’s proposals are the result of close contact with local communities. When the National People’s Congress is not in session, she visits migrant workers’ homes and collects their opinions online. She also listens to comments from her customers, who come from all walks of life.

Liu’s story is just one example of how grassroots MPs respond to people’s needs and how people’s congresses contribute to China’s “overall democracy” To solve problems that the people want to solve. “

There are five levels of People’s Congress. The MPs are elected either directly or indirectly by their respective constituencies. The MPs of the NPC are elected by the people’s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. At the lower levels of the municipalities and districts, the members of the people’s congresses are directly elected by the voters and represent the majority of the members at all levels. They elect MPs for the city’s people’s congresses, who in turn elect MPs at the provincial level.

In 2019 there were a total of 2.67 million people’s congresses at all levels, including 590,000 at the district level and 1.94 million at the community level. The MPs at the two levels made up 95 percent of the total.

“If the people are only woken up to vote, but soon afterwards enter a period of rest, if they sing a song during the election campaign but have no say after the election, or if they are favored during canvassing but after the election in Left out in the rain, such a democracy is not a real democracy, “Xi said.


Press contact:

Jiang Simin
[email protected]

Original content by: CGTN, transmitted by news aktuell


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