SCIO briefing on 'China's Political Party System: Cooperation and Consultation' white paper

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Around the world, some countries adopt a multiparty system, some adopt a two-party system, and others adopt a one-party system. China adopts a system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a new model known as China's political party system. My question is: what are the characteristics and strengths of this model compared with other political party systems? Thank you.

Xu Yousheng:

Thank you. I will answer your question. As we all know, the political party system is a major component of a country's political framework and makes a critical contribution to modern democracy. The system best suited to a country is determined by its history, traditions, and realities. There are many types of political party systems around the world, and there is not a single system that is good for all countries. I just said that China adopts a system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC. Grown out of the soil of China, it is prominently characterized by the CPC's leadership role in governing the country with cooperation from and participation of all the other parties. On one hand, as the ruling party, the CPC represents the strong core leader of socialism with Chinese characteristics. On the other hand, eight non-CPC political parties work closely with the CPC as advisers, helpers and partners, and participate in governance under socialism with Chinese characteristics. So, there are no opposition parties or parties not in power in China. In this system, the ruling party shares one mind and stands together in the face of every challenge with other parties, following the principles of long-term coexistence, mutual oversight, sincerity, and sharing the rough times and the smooth.

China's political party system enjoys two strengths. First, this system extensively and unfailingly represents the real and fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. It pools ideas and suggestions to ensure informed and democratic decision-making. By doing so, it avoids the weakness of some party systems where political parties act in their own interests or the interests of the classes, regions, and groups that they represent; oppose for opposition's sake and hold deliberations without reaching decisions, dividing society. Second, this system closely unites all political parties and non-affiliates towards a common goal of national rejuvenation, effectively preventing the risks of inadequate oversight in one-party rule and destructive competition of multi-party system. In this regard, China's political party system offers China's approach to the world and is a great contribution to the political advancement of mankind.

That reminds me of a famous saying from Mr. Deng Xiaoping, the chief architect of China's reform and opening-up: "It doesn't matter if the cat is black or white; what matters is how well it catches mice." China's significant achievements during the past seven decades fully demonstrate that its political party system is "the best cat that catches mice." Thank you.

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