John Ross: Democracy and policies in China far greater than the west

2021-12-09 China Daily Editor:Zhao Li

Editor's note: In a dialogue on democracy in Beijing last Thursday, diplomats, scholars and experts discussed various democracy models in many countries, as well as the changes and functions of democracy in today's world. Below are excerpts from John Ross' speech. Ross is a senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of the Renmin University of China.


It is highly ironic that the Biden Administration would choose this particular time in history to gather together the "Western democracies" when almost all of those countries face serious crises placing into question the effectiveness of their own form of governance.

All of these nations are facing serious questions of trust by their populations. Here in the United States, a large portion of the electorate is even convinced that the last presidential election was a total fraud. Never before have these nations faced such a crisis of confidence among their own people. While the Covid epidemic and the measures required to deal with it have aggravated the situation, that crisis had been brewing for a very long time. The fundamental problem is that the political elites controlling the governments of the "Western democracies" have largely distanced themselves from the needs of the people.

The growing disparity between rich and poor, continued racial discrimination, the neglect of the great pockets of poverty in the inner cities and in the countryside, have led to the sense among a large portion of the population that government has completely forgotten them. The great mass of people that violently broke into the U.S. Congress on January 6 was simply a reflection of the mood throughout the nation.But the real objective of this gathering is to rally the forces of the Western alliance, the NATO countries, and their satraps to follow the US in a show of force in opposition to Russia and China, whom the Biden Administration have labeled "autocracies." Yet both these countries are democracies, each with their own particular brand of democracy, which is largely determined by different historical and cultural circumstances than in the West.

China in particular has proven to have developed a particularly effective system of governance, one in which the people in the grass roots have the ability to raise issues which, if important, can then be then taken into the legislative discussion through their representatives on the NPC or the CPPCC, and much of this will be improved with the new Whole-Process People's Democracy proposed by Xi Jinping. The workings of this particular system of governance has pulled over 800 million people out of poverty and helped to raise the nation to a position of moderate prosperity.While the ruling Communist Party is directly focused on meeting the changing needs of the Chinese population, most Western parties, such as here in the United States, are more interested in meeting the needs of the corporations and the moneyed interests, including the military-industrial complex, who have helped finance the campaigns that brought them into power.

If an "independent" were elected in the United States who really wanted to do some good for the people, but who opposed some of the prerogatives of the powers that be, that person would soon be branded, slandered, and perhaps thrown into jail on trumped-up charges, or worse.

And I have friends who have personal experience in this respect. That's not how the system was intended to operate by the Founding Fathers, but it is largely the way it now works with the growing powers of the financial and banking oligarchy.Whether a particular form of governance or democracy is good or bad has to be decided on the sole criteria of the benefit it has provided for the common man. Were we to use that criteria, we would surely find that the popular support engendered by the policies of the Communist Party of China is far greater than the support engendered for either of our political parties, or for both of them together. But no one dares make that comparison, since the policy coming out of Washington today has little to do with "democracy" vs. "autocracy", but is rather a raw political attempt to assert the continued domination of the ruling financial oligarchy centered in the major banks of London and New York, and backed up by the military alliance led by the United States.

Any attempt by "developing countries" like China to call for a new, just, and equitable world order will be deemed by them to be a threat to their system and they will do whatever they can to prevent that from taking shape. And they foolishly believe that the rest of the world, or at least a large part of it, will support them in that endeavor. But given the record of the "Western democracies" in places like Africa and Latin America as opposed to the record of China, it is doubtful that the "alliance of democracies" will become a rallying cry for any but those totally wedded to this failed system, or blackmailed by economic or military pressure from Washington to follow their lead. For most of the world, particularly in Africa, the record of China is already very clear, and the countries there and elsewhere are only waiting for the smoke from this obvious diversion to settle in order to continue along the path of development on which they have embarked upon together with the People's Republic of China.

Source: Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.

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