Beijing hosts international democracy forum calling for upholding common values

By Wang Yiming
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 5, 2021
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The opening ceremony of the International Forum on Democracy: the Shared Human Values, in Beijing, Dec. 4, 2021. [Photo by Yang Jia/]

An international forum themed "Democracy: the Shared Human Values" kicked off in Beijing on Dec. 4 to explore the essence, history, current state and development of democracy, and call for the upholding of common values. 

Organized in a hybrid format, both in-person and virtual, the forum brought together over 500 participants including former leaders of government, scholars and experts from research centers, universities and the media, as well as heads of international organizations, from over 120 countries and regions around the world. 

Democracy is a common value shared by all humanity, and an important indicator of progress in human civilization, Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, said during his keynote speech at the forum.

The official shared his insights into China's democratic values and concrete practices. 

The people's status as masters of the country is the essence of China's democracy, Huang said, adding that practice has proved whole-process people's democracy is a true democracy that works.

Reiterating that there is no one-size-fits-all model for democracy, Huang said the CPC and the Chinese people are willing to work together with all other peoples around the world to carry forward the common values of humanity and advance towards a global community of shared future together.

Yukio Hatoyama, former Japanese prime minister, said that the essence of diplomacy is to explore how well countries with different values can get along.

Many countries today try to escape the chaos in their own countries caused by their own values by attacking the values of others, which is a wrong action, Hatoyama said, noting that common values and mindsets should be upheld. 

Although countries have different social systems, it is necessary to focus on the shared values such as peaceful development, fairness and justice, democracy and freedom, he said.

He added that the concept of a global community of shared future and the idea of fraternity should be promoted to the world and translated into practice.

Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, Chile's former president (1994-2000), also stressed the importance of respecting other countries' values. 

Frei said that the diversity of democratic systems should be cherished, and democracy requires inclusiveness, mutual understanding and seeking common development in diversity.

Speaking of the common values of mankind, he believes that peaceful coexistence is the most fundamental principle.

"Harmony" is something that Chinese culture has taught us, Frei said, noting that it is also a very important common value.

During the event, participants exchanged views on democracy around six specific topics: pluralistic origins of democracy, ultimate values of democracy, effective principles of democracy, the realization form of democracy, democracy and people's all-round development, and China's view of democracy. 

The forum, which seeks to promote exchanges and dialogue on democracy across the globe, is being held in three phases, from Dec. 4-5, Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 14-15, respectively. 

The event was hosted by the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council Information Office, and co-organized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China Media Group and China International Publishing Group. 

Earlier the same day, China's State Council Information Office released a white paper titled "China: Democracy That Works," expounding on China's whole-process people's democracy under CPC leadership.

China's whole-process people's democracy is a model of socialist democracy that covers all aspects of the democratic process and all sectors of society, and is a true democracy that works, the white paper noted.

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