Xinhua Commentary: Embracing the spectrum of democracy in a diverse world-Xinhua

Xinhua Commentary: Embracing the spectrum of democracy in a diverse world

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-29 19:52:31

BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Two forums on democracy was held in the world last week, with contrasting narratives epitomizing the current forms of discourse on democracy and governance around the world.

The third "International Forum on Democracy: The Shared Human Values," was convened in Beijing with a message that stressed the importance of mutual learning and respect for various democratic practices. That stood out against the backdrop of the third "Summit for Democracy," which critics argue employed Western benchmarks of democracy as tools to label and exclude, thereby propagating a divisive narrative of "democracy against authoritarianism."

Clearly, the interpretations of democracy -- one supple and accommodating, the other narrow and punitive -- could not be more dissimilar. There are no doubts over which event cultivated consensus and solidarity, and which event fostered division and spread misconceptions of the governance styles the West has deemed incongruent with its own.

Drawing lines on ideological grounds and using democracy-related issues as tools or weapons are actions that run entirely counter to the spirit of democracy. The world does not need to create division under the pretext of democracy. It needs to enhance solidarity and cooperation on the basis of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter for greater democracy in international relations.

Democracy is the right of all people in every country, rather than the prerogative of a few nations. Whether or not a country is democratic should be decided by its people, not dictated by a handful of countries. There is no fixed model of democracy -- it manifests in many forms. China has created and developed its "whole-process people's democracy" in line with its national conditions. It is a form of democracy with distinctive Chinese features, and it has fueled China's development, contributing a new democratic model to the international political spectrum.

However, democracy has long been misinterpreted and its meaning distorted by a small number of countries. The principles of One Person, One Vote and party competition featuring the Western electoral system are packaged as the sole criterion for democracy. In reality, political systems vary from culture to culture. Assessing the world's myriad political systems with a single yardstick and examining diverse political structures in black and white are undemocratic practices.

The world is navigating a complex era of globalization. In light of various challenges facing humanity, China's Global Civilization Initiative calls for an acknowledgment of the rich tapestry of human civilization, where peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom are the shared aspirations of all people. It encourages a world in which individual nations have distinctive cultural views on governance without succumbing to the impulse to impose ideologies or instigate conflict.

China's philosophical heritage holds that it is only natural for things to be different, and promotes harmony without uniformity. This heritage can provide profound wisdom for the world today, with such principles urging countries to engage with one another on the basis of respect and open-mindedness.

Diversity is not merely a hallmark of democracy; It is the bedrock of our global existence, underpinning every endeavor in democratic governance. It is essential that we remain vigilant to attempts to enshrine a singular view of democracy, lest we undermine the common aspirations of humanity.