Experts: US, China democracy different

May 25th, 2009 - 1:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 25 (ANI): Experts from both the United States and China are in agreement that the democratic systems followed in both countries are different, and therefore, neither country should tell the other what to do.

“The US should not tell China what to do,” the China Daily quoted Yawei Liu, director of the China Program of the Carter Center, as saying.

Bruce Dickson, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, stated that outside pressure would not affect the pace of change in China.

They were speaking on Friday at the congressional-executive hearing on China’s democracy over the past three decades and its implications for the US.

China has experimented with elections for villages, townships, counties and even high levels of government and the Communist Party of China (CPC).

During the past decade, grassroots elections, or more precisely village elections, have regularly taken place in China’s 680,000 villages, said Cheng Li, director of research and a senior fellow at John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution.

“It takes vision, courage and time to make these elections meaningful. Making these elections open does not mean introducing Western style democracy,” Liu said.

Li found that the CPC has adopted or consolidated some electoral methods to choose members of the CPC Central Committee and other high-ranking leaders.

Scholars at the hearing also highlighted what they thought were shortfalls in China at present.

Its political system still dictates that the State operates as the executor of decisions made by the CPC, Li said.

Liu said China’s village elections are becoming less relevant to the lives of Chinese farmers, he said.

The young, educated and informed are working in the cities. They are unable to run for village committee seats and to participate in these elections.

Land reform allows farmers to enter into joint ventures. They use their land rights as shares. It seems a new kind of election is emerging in areas that are moving fast on land reform, namely the election of board members of the joint venture.

“If democracy is an event, China has not made breakthroughs. If it is a process, it is happening in China,” Li said. (ANI)

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