II. A Basic Political System for China
According to the Chinese Constitution, "The People's Republic of China is a socialist state under the people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants." The government system that accords with such a form of state is the system of people's congresses, and the political party system that accords with it is that of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC. The systems of people's congresses, multi-party cooperation, regional ethnic autonomy, and self-governance at the primary level of society together constitute the kernel and fundamental framework of China's political system, and are the embodiment of socialist democracy.
As one of China's fundamental political system, the multi-party cooperation system identifies the status and functions of the CPC and the eight other political parties in the political life of the state, and the relations between the parties.
- The CPC holds the leading and ruling position. The CPC's leadership position was formed and consolidated during the long years of revolution, construction and reform, and it is the choice of history and the people. During its more than 80 years of struggle, the CPC led the Chinese people through the new democratic revolution to realize national independence and the people's liberation; established state power with the people as the masters of the state, and safeguarded national unification and the solidarity of all ethnic groups; established the socialist system and completed the most profound social transformation in Chinese history; and pioneered the Chinese-style socialist cause and blazed a correct road toward national prosperity and a happy life for the people.
China is a developing country with a territory of 9.6 million sq km, 1.3 billion people and 56 ethnic groups. To push forward modernization in such a populous country with such a vast landmass, it is imperative to have strong core of leadership. The CPC represents the development trend of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The strong leadership of the CPC is the fundamental guarantee for China's socialist modernization, for national unification and social harmony and stability, and for the unity of over one billion people as they work together to create a bright future. This has become a political view shared by people of all ethnic groups formed in the long years of revolution, construction and reform.
- The eight democratic parties participate in and deliberate on state affairs. The inherent requirements of the people's democratic dictatorship and the actual role played by the eight democratic parties in China's political life determine their role as participating parties. As the political alliances of socialist working people, builders of socialism and patriots who support socialism with whom they maintain ties, these parties are within the scope of the people, and their participation in state affairs under the leadership of the CPC is a major indication of people's democracy.
Their participation in state affairs mainly takes the following forms: participating in the exercise of state power, consultation on fundamental state policies and the choice of state leaders, the administration of state affairs, and the formulation and implementation of state policies, laws and regulations. Their status and rights as participating parties are protected by the Constitution and other laws.
- A new relationship of unity and cooperation has been established between the CPC and the eight democratic parties. The CPC has made friends with the eight democratic parties in their long years of common struggle. Its fundamental theory, line, program and experience have been agreed by the democratic parties, and the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics has become the common goal of all parties in China. In a liberal, stable and harmonious political atmosphere, the CPC maintains wide political cooperation with the democratic parties, attends to their political and material interests, and unites with them in the march forward.
- The cooperation of the CPC and the democratic parties is rich in content. First, the CPC consults the democratic parties on major principles, policies and issues, and they supervise each other. Second, members of democratic parties hold an appropriate number of posts in state power organs and they can perform their duties according to law. Third, members of democratic parties hold leading posts in central and local governments and judicial organs; the people's governments at various levels keep contacts with, through diverse means, the democratic parties to bring into play their role of participation in and deliberation on state affairs. Fourth, the democratic parties participate in consultation on major state issues through the CPPCC. Fifth, the CPC supports the democratic parties to participate in the country's reform, opening up and socialist modernization drive. To serve economic and social development is the main function of the democratic parties as participating parties, and also a distinctive feature of China's multi-party cooperation system.
- The CPC and the other eight democratic parties supervise each other. Such supervision is political supervision exercised through exchanging views and airing criticisms and suggestions. Since the CPC is the leading and ruling party, it needs particularly supervision from the democratic parties more than the other way round.
This democratic supervision mainly covers the implementation of the Constitution, laws and regulations; the formulation and implementation of major guiding principles and policies of the CPC and the government; and the work of CPC committees at various levels, as well as CPC-member officials' performance of duties and clean governance. The supervision from the democratic parties is unique yet important for strengthening and improving the CPC's leadership and improving the socialist supervision system.
The multi-party cooperation system has created a new form of political party system in the world, a unique system by itself. Under this system, the CPC and the democratic parties work closely together and supervise each other, instead of opposing each other. The CPC rules the country and the democratic parties participate in state affairs according to law, instead of ruling the country in turn. This system accords with the system of people's congresses to ensure that the people are the masters of the state, rather than a democracy for a minority of people.