The all-important ‘two sessions’ (lianghui) are underway in Beijing. These are the National People’s Congress (NPC), the highest law-making body in China, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which provides advice and recommendations to the NPC. You can watch a brief video about the two sessions of 2018 here. These two sessions are perhaps even more important this year after the landmark 19th congress of the CPC in November of 2016.
During the first session of the CPPCC, Xi Jinping and others met with representatives from other political parties, those without party affiliation and returned overseas Chinese. Among other items, Xi stressed the following (quoting from Xinhua News – see also a later piece in the People’s Daily):
President Xi Jinping Sunday called the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation led by the Communist Party of China (CPC) “a great contribution to political civilization of humanity.”
It is “a new type of party system growing from China’s soil,” said Xi …
Xi said the system is new because it combines Marxist political party theories with China’s reality, and truly, extensively and in the long term represents fundamental interests of all people and all ethnic groups and fulfills their aspiration, avoiding the defects of the old-fashioned party system which represents only a selective few or the vested interest.
The Chinese system is new, Xi said, because it unites all political parties and people without party affiliation toward a common goal, effectively preventing the flaws of the absence of oversight in one-party rule, or power rotation and nasty competition among multiple political parties.
The Chinese system is new, Xi said, also because it pools ideas and suggestions through institutional, procedural, and standardized arrangements and develops a scientific and democratic decision making mechanism.
It steers away from another weakness of the old-fashioned party system, in which decision making and governance, confined by interests of different political parties, classes, regions and groups, tears the society apart, he said.
Fitting China’s reality and fine traditional culture, it is “a great contribution to political civilization of humanity,” he said.
Xi said upholding the CPC leadership was not meant to do away with democracy.
Instead, it aims to create a form of democracy that is broader and more effective, he said.
The CPC-led system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation stresses both the CPC leadership and socialist democracy which features political consultation, participation in the deliberation of state affairs, and democratic supervision, he said.