III. Major Manifestations of Socialist Democracy
Without democracy there can be no socialism, let alone socialist modernization. It is an unswerving goal of the CPC and the democratic parties to realize and develop people's democracy in China. China's multi-party cooperation system, with its unique structure and functions as well as operational mechanism, gives expression to the intrinsic demands of socialist democracy and guarantees the full exercise of the people's democratic rights. It is a major manifestation of socialist democracy.
The leadership of the CPC and full exercise of socialist democracy are the essential requirements of the multi-party cooperation system. The CPC aims to serve the people wholeheartedly, and represents the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The CPC's leadership and rule is to lead and support the people to be the masters of their country, mobilize and organize the people as extensively as possible, to manage state and social affairs as well as economic and cultural programs in accordance with the law, and safeguard and realize the basic interests of the people. The multi-party cooperation system gives expression to both the firm leadership of the CPC and extensive democracy, maintains both consistency and diversity, and exhibits both order and vigor.
One major feature of China's socialist democracy is the combination of democratic election and democratic consultation. In China, the people's congress system and the multi-party cooperation system under the leadership of the CPC supplement each other. That the people exercise their democratic rights through election and voting and that consultation is conducted among people of all walks of life to achieve consensus as much as possible before any significant decisions are made are two important ways to realize socialist democracy. The combination of democratic election and democratic consultation has extended the width and depth of socialist democracy. Full political consultation both takes into account the opinions of the majority and shows respect to the reasonable requirements of the minority, thus guaranteeing democracy of the widest scope and promoting the harmonious development of society.
The value and functions of China's multi-party cooperation system are manifested as follows:
-- Political participation. The multi-party cooperation system opens up an institutionalized channel for the political participation of democratic parties, incorporates various social forces into the political system, and consolidates and expands the foundation of the people's democratic dictatorship; mobilizes the enthusiasm of all sectors, pools the wisdom of the people, solicits proposals widely, and promotes the scientific and democratic decision-making of the ruling party and the government; and advances the positive and steady development of socialist democracy on the premise of maintaining social stability.
-- Expression of interests. China is a large, populous country with a variety of social classes, strata and groups. On the basis of common fundamental interests, differences and contradictions in specific interests exist among the people. In particular, as the socialist market economy progresses, the reform of the economic system deepens, the social structure and the pattern of interests undergo great reshuffles, and people's ideas also change profoundly. The multi-party cooperation system can effectively reflect the interests, wishes and demands of all social sectors, clears and broadens the channels for the expression of interest, coordinates interest relations, gives due consideration to the interests of allies, and thus maintains social harmony and stability.
-- Social integration. China's arduous and complicated modernization task requires a political system that has a strong function in social integration. Combining the firm leadership of the CPC with extensive cooperation with democratic parties, the multi-party cooperation system has forged a mighty power of social integration. Aiming at the paramount objective of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, the CPC cooperates closely with democratic parties, creates strong political identification, facilitates optimized allocation of political resources, mobilizes the enthusiasm of all sectors, and leads and organizes the society to move continuously toward modernization.
-- Democratic supervision. Mutual supervision between the CPC and the democratic parties is conducive to strengthening the supervision function within the system and avoiding various drawbacks arising from lack of supervision. The democratic parties represent specific interests and demands of relevant groups of people, reflect complaints and suggestions from all walks of life, and provide all-round supervision apart from the self-supervision of the CPC. This facilitates the scientific and democratic decision-making of the ruling party, so that it will resist and overcome bureaucracy and all sorts of negative and corruptive phenomena more consciously, thus reinforcing and improving the work of the ruling party in all aspects.
-- Maintenance of stability. The multi-party cooperation system replaces confrontation and contention with cooperation and consultation, effectively avoiding political instability and frequent changes of regime resulting from discord among political parties, thus reducing internal frictions of the society to the maximum, and safeguarding social and political stability and solidarity. Combining the firm leadership of the CPC with the extensive participation of democratic parties, the system is able to effectively resolve various social contradictions and conflicts, and maintain political stability and social harmony.
China's multi-party cooperation system gives expression to the intrinsic requirement of socialist democracy that people are the masters of their own country, as well as the characteristics and advantages of China's political system. In the new historical circumstances, one of the key jobs for developing socialist democracy is adhering to and improving the multi-party cooperation system under CPC leadership, which entails expanding the orderly political participation of citizens, broadening the channels for the expression of social interest and fostering harmonious social development.