People’s democracy for a modern socialist country

Source:Chinese Social Sciences Today 2022-11-11

The 20th CPC National Congress report declared that “the people’s democracy is the lifeblood of socialism, and it is integral to our efforts to build a modern socialist country in all respects. Whole-process people’s democracy is the defining feature of socialist democracy; it is democracy in its broadest, most genuine, and most effective form.” This interpretation thoroughly reveals the socialist democracy’s inner mechanisms, epochal characteristics, and value orientations. This interpretation points the direction and provides fundamental theoretical guides for further perfecting socialist democracy in the building of a modern socialist country in all respects on our new journey. This interpretation further enriches scientific connotations of the people’s democracy.

On the nature of our nation, the 20th CPC National Congress report pointed out that “China is a socialist country of people’s democratic dictatorship under the leadership of the working class based on an alliance of workers and farmers; all power of the state in China belongs to the people.” This sentence fully demonstrates that China’s people’s democracy has deep historical accumulations, highlighting the theoretical brilliance of Marxist democratic politics, and reflecting the broadness and genuine nature of China’s people’s democracy.

China’s path

In terms of the development path, the 20th CPC National Congress report announced that “we must firmly stay on the path of socialist political advancement with Chinese characteristics, uphold the unity between Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance.” This assertion vividly reveals the essential attributes of China’s socialist political system, scientifically responds to major issues, such as what kind of democracy China should develop in the new era, and how to develop socialist democracy. It clarifies the fundamental principle of unswervingly following the path of socialist political advancement with Chinese characteristics.

First, we must uphold Party leadership, which is the greatest strength of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and the fundamental guarantee for the people running the country and the rule of law. Second, we must uphold the principle of the people running the country, an essential feature of socialist democracy. Last but not least, we must uphold the rule of law, which is the basic way for the Party to lead the people in governing the country and an inherent requirement of socialist democracy. Overall, upholding the organic unity between Party leadership, the people running the country, and law-based governance is an effective insturment for upholding and expanding the path of sociaolist political advancement with Chinese characteristics, which demonstrates the unique advantages and strong vitality of the Chinese path.

Whole-process people’s democracy

In terms of the way the people’s democracy is practiced, the 20th CPC National Congress report calls for “ensuring the principal position of the people, so as to give full expression to their will, protect their rights and interests, and spark their creativity.” This guarantees that the country is run by the people from several different aspects. The whole-process people’s democracy is the defining feature of the people’s democracy, reflecting the foundational purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly. Specifically, it means that a people-centered political stance will permeate all areas of the country’s political life. According to Marxism, democracy’s development process is essentially the process of constantly realizing human emancipation, which enables individuals to eliminate the bondage of external relations and become free and well-developed people. This is a vivid portrayal of our people’s democratic practice.

First of all, the whole-process people’s democracy upholds the people’s principal position. The people’s principal position in China’s political life is best illustrated by finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with people’s safety put first.

Second, the whole-process people’s democracy fully embodies the will of the people. By establishing and improving institutions for the people’s democracy, we will develop a consultative democracy in a comprehensive way and promote its extensive, multilevel, and institutionalized development. We will uphold and improve the system for CPC-led multi-party cooperation and political consultation. Efforts will also be made to improve the systems and mechanisms through which CPPCC committees conduct democratic oversight and their members stay engaged with people from various sectors.

Third, the whole-process people’s democracy protects the rights and interests of the people. The state ensures that the people participate in various ways in the management of state, economic, cultural, and social affairs in accordance with the law.

Finally, the whole-process people’s democracy has stimulated the creativity of the people. History has proved that the people are the witnesses, builders, and pioneers of the new era. Only by closely relying on the people, uniting them, putting the people first, and ensuring that the people’s democracy is truly implemented and effective can we stimulate the creativity of the people.

On the new journey in the new era, the blueprint has been drawn for building a modern socialist country in all respects. As long as we stick to the leadership of the Party, firmly stay on the path of socialist political advancement, continue to hold high the banner of the people’s democracy, always keep in mind that “this country is its people; the people are the country,” and consistently develop the whole-process people’s democracy, we will be able to achieve the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects, and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through Chinese modernization.


Chen Zhuorong is a professor from the School of Politics and International Studies at Central China Normal University.

Editor:Yu Hui

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