A Uygur family harvests ripe grapes in Turpan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. (Photo/People's Daily Online)
Democracy, which the people of a country are in the best position to judge, should be focused on how it can deliver to the people, senior politicians and experts said on Thursday, as called for greater respect for how each country chooses to develop.
They made the remarks at the second International Forum on Democracy: Shared Human Values, which was held by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council Information Office in Beijing, and attended by various former and senior officials and veteran scholars worldwide.
Li Shulei, head of the publicity department, said in a keynote speech that democracy is the common value of all mankind, and the unswerving pursuit of China on its way to modernization.
"The whole-process people's democracy of China is the essential requirement of Chinese modernization, which targets not just a single field, but all aspects including politics, economy, culture, society and ecology," he said, noting that the country's democracy has been developing based on the national conditions, after the attempts to apply various Western modes of democracy in China since 1840 failed.
Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman of the Pakistan Senate Defence Committee, said people must have a say in their own democratic systems, stressing that it was China's democratic system that helped 800 million people rise out of poverty over the past four decades.
Abhisit Vejjajiva, former prime minister of Thailand, said many Western countries are struggling with a host of challenges, such as money politics and corruption, which have eroded their people's faith in government and democracy, even in those countries that are proud of having a long history of democracy.
He said some developing countries' governments are not truly representative of the people even though they have constitutions and democratic elections.
How democracy delivers for the people is one of the major focuses of people around the world, according to a global survey released by the Beijing-based Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies.
The survey, which last year collected over 9,600 samples from 23 countries worldwide including India, the United Kingdom, the United States and Kenya, suggested that the efficiency and effectiveness of the Chinese government were affirmed by 88.8 percent of respondents on average.
Meanwhile, 98 percent of surveyed Chinese people trusted their government and were satisfied with the democratic situation in the country, it showed.
In addition to the role that democracy plays domestically, the forum participants urged greater democracy in international relations.
"If we want to have democracy, we cannot have hegemonism," said Fred Mmembe, president of the Socialist Party of Zambia, underlining that a country isn't qualified as a democratic country if it has no respect for the sovereignty and policies of other countries.
Former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, expressed his worry about an emerging trend of Western countries, including the U.S., the UK and Japan, which are continually creating conflicts of values in the world.
If values of democracy and human rights are excessively utilized in the diplomatic field, it must inevitably lead to discrimination and exclusion of countries with different values, he said, criticizing the U.S.-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and "Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity" as having been regarded as targeting China in the name of values.
In fact, the traditional governance thought of Chinese democracy and Chinese modernization has been mostly recognized by people around the world, according to the global survey, saying that 93.6 percent of respondents agreed with the traditional Chinese concept that harmony is the most valuable.
"The world's future should be in the hands of the people of all countries, international rules should be formulated by all countries, ... and the fruits of development should be shared by all countries," said Li, the publicity department head.