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Wang Yi: Promoting True Democracy for a Better Future of Humankind
2021-12-09 23:06

On December 9, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered video remarks titled "Promoting True Democracy for a Better Future of Humankind" at the 14th Bali Democracy Forum held in Indonesia.

Wang Yi said, rafflesia in Bali is the world's largest blossom, and can only grow in the tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia. Just as plants are unique to the land they grow on, democracy, as a major fruit of human progress, is also rooted and nurtured in the history, culture, ethnic traditions and social environment of the countries concerned. Our forefathers' tireless pursuit of democracy over thousands of years of human history has been aimed to, all in all, find better systems and political structures so that humanity could be free from war, hunger and poverty, live happy lives, and enjoy equity and justice. As we meet, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage our societies, and the international landscape is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. How to properly perceive, practice, improve and develop democracy is indeed a "question of the century", a question that bears on the future of humankind.

Wang Yi said, some regard Western democracy as the only correct answer. They seek to forcibly transplant and impose it onto the whole world. Some attempt to take one country's model as the criterion, provoking tension between different political systems and ideologies and creating division and confrontation in the world. None of these is true democracy, but fake democracy using democracy as a cover. Democracy is a common value of humanity. Democracy is not a special right reserved to a certain country, but a right for the people of all countries. The key criterion for whether a country is democratic or not is whether its people are truly the masters of their own fate.

Wang Yi said, since its founding, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has been upholding the banner of democracy, setting as its goals to found a New China where the people are the masters of their own fate, and taking as its obligation to realize true and effective democracy in China. Through a century of exploration and experimentation, the CPC has led the Chinese people in finding a new form of democracy that suits China's national conditions, one that President Xi Jinping described as the whole-process people's democracy. It centers on the interests of the people. We have integrated all the links of democracy, including democratic election, democratic consultation, democratic decision-making, democratic management, and democratic oversight, to ensure that the Chinese people can voice their concerns effectively and thoroughly in every step of the way, and the Chinese people's wills are reflected to the fullest extent. At the same time, it features a full set of institutional procedures and full participation and practice by the people. We seek to bring out the best of both election democracy and consultative democracy and integrate all elements of democracy - process and outcome, procedural and substantive, direct and indirect. Our democracy has distinctive Chinese characteristics, and at the same time, it has also enriched humanity's political civilization.

Wang Yi said that countries have different ways to achieve democracy. There is no single correct form of democracy for others to worship, and no democracy is superior to others. We have full confidence in our democracy, and we also fully respect other countries' democracy. We will not export our democracy. We are ready to have dialogue and exchanges with others on an equal footing, learn from other civilizations, and provide useful experience to other countries as well.

Wang Yi stressed that democracy is not only a way of domestic governance, but also a principle in global governance. We need to vigorously advocate the spirit of democracy in state-to-state interactions, actively promote the correct approaches such as respect for sovereignty, equal-footed consultation, solidarity and cooperation, and make unremitting efforts for greater democracy in international relations. Wang Yi put forward the following three suggestions:

First, we need to respect national sovereignty and defend the basic norms of international relations. The preaching of "human rights superseding sovereignty" and willful democratic transformation of other countries did not bring about stability or prosperity. They put countries into chaos and rubble, displaced their people, and caused many refugee crises. We must learn a lesson, resolutely uphold the central role of the United Nations, defend the authority of the UN Charter, and oppose acts that undermine sovereignty or interfere in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of democracy or human rights.

Second, we need to advocate consultation on an equal footing and promote democratic concepts with Asian features. Asia, with a time-honored history, has the tradition of embracing diversity, and cultivated the democratic culture of consultation. Asian, African, and Latin American countries made a call of justice for global democratic governance at the Bandung Conference. China and ASEAN set a fine example of joint consultation and contribution for shared benefits in the international arena. We should actively advocate consultation as equals and make it an important part of more democratic international relations.

Third, we need to uphold solidarity and cooperation and jointly tackle global challenges. Forming small groups and circles in the name of democracy in fact tramples on the spirit of democracy and is turning back the wheel of human history. In this globalized era, democratic governance is by no means creating a small yard with high fences, decoupling or cutting off supply chains. Nor is it pursuing protectionism or confrontation through alliance. Rather, democratic governance should be upholding free trade, strengthening connectivity, seeking mutual benefit and win-win results, and making globalization fairer, more equitable, and beneficial to all.

Wang Yi emphasized that the true meaning and value of democracy will ultimately prevail and continue to be enriched. While China further develops and refines democracy at home, it will firmly uphold principles for more democratic international relations, and remain a builder of world peace, contributor to global development and defender of the international order. China advocates true democratic spirit and will, together with countries around the world, create a better future for humanity.

Established in 2008, the Bali Democracy Forum is an essential platform for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to hold dialogues and exchanges on democracy. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and officials, experts, and scholars from other countries attended the forum themed "Democracy for Humanity: Advancing Economic and Social Justice during the Pandemic".

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