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Seminar discusses democracy practice

By ZHANG YANGFEI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-04-28 09:25
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The National People's Congress, China's top legislature, held a two-day online seminar on Tuesday and Wednesday with 22 French-speaking African countries on the practice of democracy in Chinese and African legislative bodies.

More than 90 parliamentary representatives from French-speaking African countries shared their experiences, including the way legislation reflects the will of the people and in which legislative bodies supervise governments.

Ding Zhongli, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, said in his opening speech that relations between China and Africa are resilient and have shown vitality in the face of global challenges.

Despite COVID-19 and other uncertainties facing development, China and Africa have deepened trust, worked together to fight the pandemic, promoted economic and trade connectivity and strengthened strategic collaboration in international affairs, he said.

Ding said that exchanges between legislative bodies are an important part of relations. During the pandemic, the NPC held online meetings with many African countries to share experiences of poverty reduction and governance, but this was the first time that such a seminar addressed democracy.

As a common human value and pursuit, democracy presents itself in different forms influenced by elements including culture and history, and each country should choose the form of democracy that suits its characteristics, he said.

The African representatives praised the seminar, saying the discussion on democracy was very meaningful.

Magloire Jocelyn Makango from the Central African Republic said the theme reflected once again the strong will of China and Africa to work together to promote the development of democracy, to address challenges and to improve the wellbeing of the two peoples through democracy.

"We hope that such activities will have the desired effect and really benefit the people and have a positive impact on their lives," he said.

Hassan Omar Mohamed from Djibouti said the exchange between Chinese and African legislatures was very helpful in bringing the people of China and Africa closer together.

He said people's definition and understanding of democracy may vary depending on their cultural background, but the ultimate goal of democracy is to achieve common values, which are freedom, justice, peace and the well-being of the people.

Every government takes many measures to serve its people, and it is the responsibility of the parliament to see that the government actually implements these initiatives for the benefit of the people, he said, adding that China and Africa value democracy, stability and peace, and seek to engage all people in decision-making and put them at the center.

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