The usual material you find trotted out in a small number of ‘Western’ media outlets (corporate and state-run) is that China is an authoritarian state that suppresses any form of ‘democracy’. For some reason, they fail to explain what actually happens here, which is the gradual development of socialist democracy. For instance, how are delegates elected for the annual parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), and the advisory body, the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)? By elections. Yes, they have elections. As a recent report in the People’s Daily points out, this is complex process:
Under China’s current Electoral Law, deputies to people’s congresses at the level of townships and counties, who account for more than 90 percent of lawmakers at all levels nationwide, are elected directly by voters.
They in turn elect deputies to people’s congresses of cities who then elect deputies at the provincial level.
NPC deputies are elected by people’s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
This process involves no less than 900 million people voting directly to elect more than 2.5 million lawmakers in county or township-level elections.
Quoting the person responsible for the process, Zhang Dejiang, ‘Adhering to the (Chinese Communist) Party’s leadership, we will fully promote democracy, follow procedures in strict accordance with the law, and strengthen guidance and monitoring of the election work, in order to ensure that elections are held honestly and election results meet public expectations’.