Recently, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met with some members from the China Democratic League, China Zhi Gong Party, and All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, as well as nonpartisan members, who gathered in Beijing to attend the First Session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body. During the meeting, Xi stressed that China must unremittingly consolidate and improve the multi-party cooperation and political consultation system under the leadership of the CPC and tap into the unique potential of multi-party cooperation to provide practical advice and pool wisdom and strength for advancing socialist democratic politics.
After nearly 69 years of painstaking construction and reforms since its founding in 1949, the People's Republic of China has developed a political party system unlike that of any other country around the world - namely, a system featuring multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the CPC, in which the CPC is the ruling party and other political parties participate in the discussion and management of state affairs. The political party system was born in China, so it has distinct Chinese characteristics: With the leadership of the CPC as the precondition, the new type of party system aims to achieve unity, cooperation, and win-win integration. In China, all other political parties are not rivaling or opposing parties, but friendly parties that participate in the running of state affairs. The system has absorbed the outcomes of world civilizations, rich in democratic connotations.
Moreover, the new type of political party system respects the will of the people and adopts a democratic decision-making mechanism. China's major policies and decisions are not made by any single political party, but come out after democratic consultation and scientific deliberation of the CPC and all other political parties. They pool their wisdom to draw the blueprint for the future of the Chinese nation and unite together to properly handle state affairs. China's new type of political system has avoided malpractices such as the lack of democratic supervision under one-party rule or the political upheaval caused by vicious competitions among multiple parties to seize the chance to rule the country.
What constitutes the new type of political system?
First, the system combines theories and practice. The theoretical choice of the CPC-led multi-party cooperation and political consultation system was rooted in the history of modern and contemporary China after the Opium War in the 19th century. It was a choice of the Chinese people on their own will in the pursuit for the salvation of the nation, and an outcome of a combination between the Marxist party theory and China's actual conditions. In the process of developing the political consultation system, the CPC, non-Communist parties and non-party personages forged a great political invention. The history and achievements of the People's Republic of China have proven that the new type of political system that integrates theories and practice can authentically, broadly and persistently represent and realize the fundamental interests of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups.
Second, the CPC-led multi-party cooperation and political consultation system integrates democracy and republicanism. All political parties work together for the common goal of building a stronger country and achieving the richness of the people. They understand and communicate with each other, thus effectively avoiding vicious competitions between different political parties.
Third, China has built a more rational and efficient decision-making mechanism - consultative democracy. Roughly, there are two kinds of democracy: electoral democracy and consultative democracy. Considering its huge population, China needs an efficient and rational decision-making mechanism. Political consultation emphasizes the role of the system and respects procedures while evading social fragmentations caused by differences between multiple political parties. The political consultation system advocates such concepts as "the whole world is one community," "inclusiveness" and "seeking common ground while shelving differences" and represents an important contribution to human political civilization.
The CPC-led multi-party cooperation and political consultation system is a unique innovation made by China. It is rooted in the soil of China. Benefiting from achievements made in the progress of human politics, it breaks the set pattern of party alterations and widens mankind's vision. It also showcases China's latest achievements in party politics and erects a monument in the development of world politics. China's new type of political party system provides "Chinese solution" for mankind to create a democratic, harmonious and beautiful political and social life.
(The author is a research fellow at the Party Building Base of the Party School of Beijing Municipal Committee of the CPC and the Coordination and Innovation Center for the Research of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in Beijing Colleges and Universities.)