Real People-Owned Democracy Works, China’s Forum
Over the past months, the West has launched a new war in Ukraine via its NATO proxies. Recently an aid package amounting to 40 billion dollars and a new Lend-Lease Act passed through the House of Representatives in Washington. A huge increase in the sale of armaments, all kinds of weapons, vehicle systems, training, expertise, and hiring of mercenaries is expected to take place in the Russian borderlands. This is not to mention the recent willingness expressed by NATO to accept applications of membership from Sweden and Finland.
It is especially disappointing that the Squad in Congress voted for the bill even after members had told the press that it supported peace and diplomacy over military offensives. None of the Progressive Democratic Caucus members voted against the bill. At best, there are quotes such as by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) who in March stated that she felt that too many progressives have “abandoned their principles of being anti-war, anti-broad-based sanctions, anti-harmful policies.” Only a coalition of conservative Republicans, 57 House members, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-K.Y.), voted and expressed their opposition to the massive foreign aid package to Ukraine.
The pressure from the Democrats is visible in a taped statement by Sen. Rand Paul, the son of Dr. and former Representative Ron Paul (R-Tx.) and founder of the Peace and Prosperity Institute, a Libertarian thinktank. Paul warns that we are “shoveling money out the door” for Ukraine with not enough forethought on deficit spending, rising inflation, and anticipated future requests for aid by Ukraine. Furthermore, he pointed out critical domestic spending needs and how rising U.S. debt may hurt the dollar.
If it is strange that the Democrats have abdicated from their concern for America’s poor, it is because they are literally telling the poor that only Democrats will care—this was heard in a giant outdoor T.V. screen from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.) broadcast at Columbus Circle (Washington, D.C.), home to a growing tent encampment. This was not the main topic of President Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy on December 9, 2021, where invited nations could speak about human rights violations committed by authoritarian governments.
In contrast, the coalition of Republicans against the war are listening to their constituents. A surprising number of voters on both sides believe that build back better begins at home, especially when so many small businesses have filed for bankruptcy. In fact, the principles of the Libertarian Party, while pro-freemarket, promotes state non-interference and reductions in military spending. Various historians assert that we are living in a most dangerous moment in human history, harkening the Treaty of Westphalia.
While some debate whether or not the Peace of Westphalia has any bearing on events of the 21st century, one has only to recall the horrors of Europe’s Thirty Years War (1618-1648), and Eighty Years War (1568-1648) involving up to twenty million deaths, and the savagery of Spanish mercenaries to appreciate this milestone. The Peace recognized the independence of the Swiss, the Netherlands, Alsace-Lorraine for France, and the ascendancy of state sovereignty over the Holy Roman Empire.
In international law, the Treaty of Westphalia is the basic foundation for three important concepts in international relations. First, it establishes the right of the state to choose its state religion. Second, foreign policy is to be based on diplomacy rather than war. Third, recognition of the state shall be independent of the Holy Roman Empire. Law professor Griffin Pivateau asserts:
Westphalian sovereignty is the principle in international law that each nation has exclusive control over its territory.
That is, each state possesses her right to sovereignty. Furthermore, states must refrain from meddling in another’s domestic affairs, including refraining from political intrigue.
Today, the rising primacy of NATO for determining the rights of state nationhood is interpreted as abrogation of Westphalian principle. While economic sanctions are used to punish, it is still warfare. The tactic is not harmless: by weakening the target state, often broad cross-sections of society end up paying the social costs. Multilateral sanctions pushed by UN-NATO, International Monetary Fund (IMF), NGOs, and transnational corporations foster political turmoil. Just as in the jungle, regime change is envisioned through additional distractions and propaganda. Finally, military offenses are deployed including violations of air space, ocean boundaries, and cyber attacks.
Repeated infringements upon state sovereignty, military provocations, and abrogations of diplomatic treaties invalidate the integrity of international diplomacy. The Special Operations by Russia on Ukraine, the build up of NATO and its expansionism, and rising enmity stoked by the U.S. against China is toxic. In fact, President Biden knows perfectly well that many American transnational corporations source their goods from China, that the executives of these mega-corporations, like presidents of small countries, often escape any accountability for many violations of human rights, yet these CEOs are not the target of his criticisms, despite their undemocratic practices. To add to the insult, the U.S. presidents eagerly glad-hand these executives of mega-corporations, whether at the World Economic Forum, or at the “Winter Whitehouse” at Mar-a-Lago.
As the Asian Pivot has gained in intensity and force since launched by former U.S. President Obama, China is cognizant of the writing on the wall. Since the U.S. has ended its war in Afghanistan, it is increasingly hoping to refocus full attention on China, using any possible means including undermining the BRICs and ASEAN economic alliances, and brainwashing the public to trivialize China as a “communist authoritarian regime” that commits many human rights violations. This is why China held its own first democratic summit, “A Dialogue on Democracy,” based on China’s white paper, “China: Democracy That Works.”
At the December 2021 conference, “A Dialogue on Democracy,” the theme focuses on whole-process democracy. Given China’s political evolution towards a free-market economy, perhaps it is more socialist than communist? Another fundamental theme is why the United States presumes it is the arbiter of what constitutes a legimate government, for cannot a country decide on its own what style of democracy best aligns with its own cultural-historical and social-political configuration?
China’s consensus is that administratively it is experiencing success because its political processes remain more comprehensive than Western nations. Its five-year plans are crafted with detailed help and input by the people, for the benefit of the people, and it is comprised of and led by the People, with many checks and balances from the people.
China’s contention is that where uniparties are concerned, perhaps the U.S. has much less democracy than appears, since both Republicans and Democrats are infested with warhawks. As for the China’s massive Communist Party of China (CPC), the delegate-system is more responsive to the people’s needs because it is driven by measurable results. If the progress report of the country were based on human happiness and favorable views on government, China points out that over the past twenty years, its citizens are overwhelmingly positive and look toward the future with much optimism. Can the same possibly hold true for the United States, where the homeless, bankrupted, and pink-slipped citizens are invisible? What does it matter to vote in the United States, whether every two years or every four years, when the politicians only vote according to who donates the most to their campaign?
Debates and dialogue no longer matter when one’s voice is never heard, no matter what. The grassroots citizens and independent reporters are told they are illegitimate; they are blacklisted by corporate-controlled and operative-controlled alternative media, and even held up for contempt by political extremists. In fact, China’s political inclusionism appears to more than allow one-person, one-vote. China panelists assert that just as a country evolves over time, so can their form of government; communist-authoritarianism is giving way to a more broad-based socialism; whereas in the United States, it appears that democracy is giving way to democratic-totalitarianism. There must be something wrong when the United States can seriously believe that Ukraine is a democracy when, based on Oliver Stone’s revealing documentary, “Ukraine on Fire,” it is nothing more than a kleptocracy.
So how does China’s whole-process democracy compare with the United States? Here are central perspectives from CGTN press reports and followup:
• Democracy means a government of the people; thus however it is run, it is ultimately accountable by the people
“A basic criterion of democracy should be whether the people have the right to govern their country, whether their needs are met, and whether they have a sense of fulfillment and happiness. At the center of democracy is people.” —-Qin Gang, Chinese Ambassador to the United States
In the classic sense, beyond voting, it is the people who actively determine the forward direction of the country; it is well-known that the U.S. Congress is mired in partisanship undertaken for its own sake. Career politicians browbeat young legislators to channel their fresh energies into re-election campaigns. The result is legislators indoctrinated in soliciting big donorships from special interests from multinational corporations in exchange for voting favors, provisional legislation, and less community oversight.
Many foreign countries do not understand the critical role that Citizens United plays in allowing U.S. corporate personhood to flourish. It is why the United States has become virtually ungovernable when it comes to the environmental pollution, genetically modified foods, community degradation, media, culture, the internet, and defense spending. With an eroding U.S. middle class base, there are no calls to rejuvenate the local grassroots community with a mass spirit of volunteerism, while volunteerism itself is often viewed derogatorily.
• Western liberal democracy emphasizes personal freedom and development, but standards in taste have dropped considerably
Americans are treated with parochialism by their government, and at a time when the reservoirs of Lake Meade and Lake Powell are drying up, the government cannot think ahead except on distractionary matters such as war in Ukraine, war for Taiwan, arming NATO, and continuing war in Syria. As Helga Zepp-LaRouche of the Schiller Institute points out, more genuine cultural dialogue is needed to draw from—-and appeal to the best of each—-for identifying the common aims of humankind for problem-solving of an Earth in crises. Here is what the former Japan Prime Minister stated at the forum:
“What’s important is all countries, China, U.S., and Japan, should see the important value of environmental protection, preventing the global warming, and ambitious emission reduction targets should be set to the maximum extent as possible, and we should also focus more on the commonalities among us, and cultivate those commonalities rather than focusing on differences in values; there is a different crisis in every country in their governance, so it’s quite difficult to achieve our ideal picture, but there is still hope as President Xi has pointed out no country can solely address all the issues faced by humanity, so we need to build a community of shared future of all mankind.”—Yukio Hatoyama, Former Prime Minister of Japan
Independents deplore the dumbing-down of education, big media, and culture, essentially disallowing the ability and motivation of the populace for constructive political dialogue and reflection. Public will is further broken from the influence of over-powerful thinktanks from the Council of Foreign Relations and AIPAC to the World Economic Forum. Policies are developed to be adopted wholesale by lobbyists and introduced through political action committees, often with very little chance for local review and public comment.
• Whole-process democracy has created measurable economic results for China, which others can learn from
“Poverty alleviation has been a major focus, so many communities have been uplifted because of good governance, so the point is that the target, the focus of the government, the focus of the policy makers should be based on KPI, specific KPIs on improving the living conditions of ordinary people; and I think this is why we can say quite confidently that Chinese people have more confidence in their governments, they are actively participating in the process of alleviating themselves from poverty, and they are being heard; their concerns are being constantly heard; so improvement is what people look for…”—-Zoon Ahmed Khan, Research Fellow at Center for China and Globalization
Something that Americans fail to understand as a society is the great amount of hard work that a successful socialist whole-process-democracy government requires. China’s strength and resilience required constant measurement, data collection, and revision for creating a working society especially after the rampant destruction from foreign and domestic civil wars. But like other countries the United States targets, the U.S. only upholds China’s failings or policies for mockery, even to the point of dismissing the huge undertaking and successful launches of China’s missions in space, it’s recent Winter Olympics, and upcoming dam-and-reservoir expansion projects.
While developing countries throughout the Near East are eagerly signing up for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, in the West, only Germany has expressed an interest in linking up. Young and aspiring diplomats are traveling to China to learn the secret to its success, how to foster better democracy, and what can be done to alleviate the suffering of the poor, while creating more internal autonomy.
• True democracy holds officials accountable at all times both domestically and internationally
The most difficult concept for America to understand right now is that China is not interested in fomenting wars for conquest; it has evolved greatly just over the past ten years in upholding its platform of a war against governmental corruption. Spying and surveillance technology has forced China also to develop it’s own independent cloud technologies, and yet these also remain vulnerable to shadow governments seeking global control. Still the capitalist foreign policy of the West is to overtake and crush any nation that rejects Western neoliberal democracy, one which erases moral traditions and robs the area of valuable artifacts in the name of profit and restructuring.
“We can see that the West is trying to separate the world into groups of right and wrong again; namely trying to lead another crusade against the so-called autocracy; the international community is forced to pick a side either with the U.S. or with China and Russia. There isn’t a third option; the U.S. and allies are raising these questions, itself is trying to shift people’s attention on the following fact; that is Russia and China’s development mechanism has an even stronger root than the so-called real democracy of the West.”—Sergey Shakhray, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia
Historically, Russia and China not only share one of the world’s longest borders, but common interests such as the Trans-Siberian Railway project, rivers, and trade-routes. These sorts of alliances are not based on seeking enmity with other nations but on mutual support and aid, rather than pursuing the destructive courses of militarization. For a modern country of its size, China has largely avoided provocations with India, Vietnam, and other neighboring countries, something which continues to baffle U.S. diplomats. Even when China faced severe economic stress which happened many times during its long history, it did not try to distract the people through adventurism or by scapegoating other countries.
• Every nation must be able to choose it’s own democratic way.
In order for China to have become the world’s premier economic success story, it must credit its transformation to Western politicians such as Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State under the Nixon administration. However for China to maintain its constitutional faith of “people as the owner of the country” while consistently improving the democratic system, took tremendous collective tenacity by huge numbers of Chinese people from the grassroots levels. No matter how great the efforts and internal costs, in spite of foreign pressures to keep the nation’s progress in arrested development, it is to the unswerving firm pursuit of the Communist Party of China that the People truly owes its faith.
While it is true that in China, people have less personal freedom and society is more highly regimented, if over 90% of the people are happy with the country’s progress, if over 770 million people have been lifted out of poverty, and 400 million Chinese are entering the middle-class, it’s obvious that this is a working form of democracy, of people-owned governance.
“Democracy is the right of every country; it is not the patent of any country. Any single country and any form of democracy cannot be abstractively measured without considering their special social and political conditions. Whether a country is democratic should be determined by its people instead of a handful of people outside this country. The international community should be making the decision together when trying to decide whether a country is democratic instead of any single country making the final decision. To measure the diversified and colorful political system with a singular rule and to appreciate the rich political civilization with a single lens itself is undemocratic.—Huang Kunming, Hong Kong CPC Central Committee
The relationship between America and China is obviously interdependent, something no one can deny, yet ever since the Trump administration, the media spin on China is overwhelmingly toxic. To maintain a healthy diplomacy requires fostering cultural ties, nurturing commonalities, and willingness to delve into the complex ambiguities of truthfulness and falsehood, where sometimes both are omnipresent. If the Presidents are unwilling to lead these types of peaceful state diplomacy, how can the the people? Isn’t that why along with poverty, hate-rhetoric is increasing within the United States? In America today, we must witness how hostile agressive foreign policy greenlights repugnant selfishness, intolerance, and violence.