June 25, 2009
The political development of modern China calls for a new political party system that suits its specific national conditions. In order to get to know why China must keep to the political party system with distince Chinese characteristics instead of Western multi-party system, we should first of all be clear on how the basic framework of Chinese political party system came into being.
China once imitated the Western world and introduced the parliamentary system and multi-party politics after the Revolution of 1911 led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, which toppled the country's last imperial dynasty, the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Such a system, however, did not take root in the Chinese nation's history due to the lack of essential economic and cultural conditions and interference by imperialist and feudal forces then.
From the assassination of Kuomintang or National Party leader Sung Chiao-jen to Warlord Yuan Shi-kai's swearing in as the Provisional President in Beiping (or Peking), varied forms of elections and political participation turned into farces one after another. As a result, tangled warfare among warlords soon appeared and impoverished people could hardly survive at that time.
Since its founding in 1921, the Communist Party of China (CPC) twice cooperated with the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT): the first cooperation, from 1924 to 1927, was when the two parties launched the Joint Northern Expeditionary War, and the second cooperation was from 1937 to 1945 during the war of Resistance to Japanese aggression against China. But Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek stubbornly pursued his autocratic rule with the doctrine of "one 'Ism', one political party and one national leader". He tore up the October 10th Agreement" in the winter of 1945 and proceeded to launch an all-out civil war.
In 1948, on the eve of a decisive victory for nationwide liberation in the War of Liberation, the CPC proposed the establishment of a democratic coalition government based on the rule of law, and it drew welcome from 11 democratic parties in China including the Revolutionary Committee of the KMT and the China Democratic League of the 1940s and many personalities without party affiliation. All evidences have proved that the choice of the new political party system in China is precisely the political party system that complies with China's national conditions.
CPC-led multiparty cooperation and political consultation system is a kind of newe political party systems. This is a vivid reflection of the new-type political party system created under China's specific national conditions and it has very distinct Chinese characteristics.
These characteristics refer, first of all, to the adherence to Party leadership, which is the conscious choice of various democratic parties and also a basic precondition for China's political party system. Historical practice over the last six decades shows that only with CPC leadership can the common cause of the Chinese people can be advanced continuously.
For the past six decades, the CPC-led multiparty cooperation and political consultation system has played a vital role in the full exercise of socialist democracy and in the advancement of Chinese democratic politics.
At present, of people's deputies at all levels around China, more than 180,000 are without party affiliation and, of all political consultative committee members, more than 350,000 are without party affiliation, note the relevant statistics. More important, of about 230 meetings held between early 1990 to late 2006 for consultations or information-sharing by departments concerned on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the Sate Council, according to relevant figures, 74 such meetings were chaired or presided over by the Party General Secretary personally.
This practice is conducive to the building of the ruling party, or the party in power. "Why should we allow the democratic parties to exercise supervision over the Communist Party?" queried late Chinese leader Mao Zedong in a vivid way, "this is because a party is like a person, one needs to hear different voices."
In recent years, a large number of democratic party members or personages without any political party affiliation have been organized, including inspection tours of central Party and government departments and of various localities; and CPPCC committee members and personages with no party affiliation are invited to attend and fully air their views. The organizations they belong to have since then proceeded to give a direct impetus to their building and improvement and these personages themselves receive a profound education.
With regard to a Western-style multi-party system, it has taken shape and developed in the course of political practices. This system had once played a positive role in the fight against autocratic monarchy, and it nevertheless has some insurmountable weaknesses too. Hence, it cannot suit all countries without exception. In fact, under the Western capitalist system, any ruling political party must represent capitalist classes and any interests groups.
Taking the United States for example: the term "grand Old Party" is a traditional nickname for the Republicans, which are backed up by "traditional business" with the support of defense, oil and manufacturing industries, whereas the Democrats enjoy the full support of finance, telecommunications and media industries and other new business firms.
Some people cited Western multiparty system as facilitating to guard against, contain or prevent corruption, but the reality is not really so. In fact, multiparty elections are often influenced or even manipulated by money, consortiums or media groups. According to statistics available, the U.S. presidential campaigns cost 3 billion US dollars in the year 2000, some 4 billion dollars in 2004 and 5.3 billion dollars in 2008. Hence, the true mystery of Western political party politics lies in money politics, as money holds away in western society, and it is also the money that dominates the process and outcome of all elections in Western nations.
In another development, the collapse of the former Soviet Union (1989-1991) initiated a period of great political turmoil and stagnant socio-economic development following the birth of several hundred political parties.
Since the practice of Western multiparty system neither conforms to China's specific national conditions nor represents the fundamental interest of the Chinese people, so we have to persevere in the leadership by the CPC and to advance the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the CPC leadership. As long as the CPC leadership is adhered to and the construction or development of the ruling CPC and participating democratic parties promoted, can the socialist political party system with unique Chinese characteristics keep consolidating and further improving.By People's Daily Online