In his work report to the current session of the National People’s Congress (NPC, China’s parliament, retiring NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo stressed that China was a socialist country with people’s democratic dictatorship.
Note: Wu stressed that China is a dictatorship not a democracy though the dictatorship has an adjective “democratic” before it.
Will there be Western democracy in China? Wu said never.
He said in his speech, “We should deeply understand the essential characteristics of our country’s people’s congress system, persist with justification and courage to our own special characteristics, give play to our superiority and keep on promoting the self-perfection and development of our people’s congress system.
“We should fully understand the difference between our country’s people’s congress system and Western capitalist states’ political systems, firmly resist the influence of various erroneous ideologies and theories, firmly adhere to our stand on major issues of principle and uphold a clear-cut banner.
“We should draw lessons from the beneficial achievements of human political civilisation, but will never copy any model of a Western political system.” (Paragraph of his speech translated by Chan Kai Yee)
That was the second time Wu stressed in his report to an NPC session that China would not adopt a Western political system
In his speech to NPC session in 2009, he said that China will have: no multi-party system, no diversification of guiding ideology, no division of three powers or bicameralism, no federation, and no privatisation. This time, Wu did not elaborate as he did in 2009, but he was echoed the next day by Wang Yang, a quite influential senior Politburo member who has been widely regarded as a prominent reformist.
Wang recalled that when he visited Germany in 1990 as mayor of Tongling City, Anhui Province, he received as a gift several trunks of old clothes. At that time Chinese people were regarded as beggars.
Now however, China is held in high esteem. When German Prime Minister Merkel visited Guangzhou last year, she stayed at Guangzhou’s Huacheng Plaza. She said to Premier Wen Jiabao, “Compared with this place of yours, Berlin simply looks like a rural area!”
Wang believed, “What worries (the West) is our system as with over 30 years of reform and opening-up and over 60 years of socialism, the fast rise of a large country with 1.3 billion people is finally achieved. It is this system that challenges the models of the system that the West regards as perfect.”
“In contrast, their market doesn’t work. There have been lots of facts that indicate that there are times when the market doesn’t work. For example, the problems in Wall Street are related to the ineffectiveness in regulation and also in democracy. (Government’s) debts and bankruptcy. Greece is a typical example,” said Wang. “What they are proud of, the market does not work and the democracy is not effective.” (The above six paragraphs are translation by Chan Kai Yee of the summary of Singtao Daily’s report “Wu Bangguo said China shall not copy Western political models” on March 9.)
In SCMP’s report today titled Western-style reform not on agenda, says CPPCC chief Yu Zhengsheng, SCMP describes how PSC member Yu Zhengshen echoed Wu’s ideas yesterday.
SCMP said: Yu “has urged members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) to reject ‘impetuous and extremist attitudes’ in political ideas and said the ruling Communist Party would explore its own political path and shun reform based on Western models.”
It quotes Yu as saying, “We will not copy models in Western political systems under any circumstances, always adhere to the correct political orientation, and strengthen the CPPCC’s ideological and political foundations of collective struggle”.
All the above proves how influential Wu will be after his retirement. In the second edition of my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements,” I regard Wu as a potential successor to Jiang Zemin as the leader of the Shanghai faction when Jiang has passed away, based on his places in the walk-in order at the opening and closing meetings of the 18th Party Congress, and his role in bringing down Bo Xilai.
Wu Bangguo, Yu Zhengsheng and Wang Yang seemed very confident of the success of China’s current political system, the CCP Dynasty, but Xi Jinping’s reform now focuses on resolving China’s serious problems to avoid the collapse of the CCP Dynasty.
However, I do not think that Xi’s reform will bring China multi-party democracy. In Chinese history, maintaining the dynasty’s survival is always a dynasty’s first priority. No leader of a dynasty will bring about the end of the dynasty.
Certainly, there is exception. Taiwan’s Chiang Ching-guo did put an end to the hereditary dynasty of his family, and deserves to be respected as the father of Taiwan’s democracy.
But the CCP Dynasty is the dynasty of a party instead of a family.
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Categories: Politics & Law