Pursuing Shared Human Values: China's Endeavors in Democracy, Freedom, and Human Rights
What has China done right?
Pulling back the curtain on all the globally recognized achievements China has made and analyzing the path that has been followed and the principles that have been discovered as the country's more than 1.4 billion people have pursued human rights ideals and shared human values including democracy and freedom, we have arrived at the following important findings:
—Finding inspiration in the true essence of democracy, and with a grounding in its own realities and cultural traditions, China has pioneered a unique path to socialist democracy in which the people are masters of the country. The concept of "whole-process people's democracy" has established a new model in human political advancement.
—China's path to democracy has involved the governing party leading the people in founding a new country, establishing institutions for the people to exercise their role as masters of the country, and then launching a national modernization drive. As a mission-oriented party, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has led hundreds of millions of people in coming together to form a cohesive whole and addressing the massive democratic challenge of bringing about popular sovereignty.
—The three key factors behind Chinese democracy's ability to deliver effective governance are an advanced political party, a commitment to putting the people first, and a focus on development.
—If pursuing shared human values is the right thing to do, then doing the right thing the right way represents a tremendous practical challenge. The Chinese path of democracy, freedom, and human rights has contributed wisdom that is of practical benefit to the world.
The people as masters of the country: the overarching logic for pursuing the value of democracy
"Socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics is a new thing, and a good thing." —Xi Jinping
From China's success in achieving longterm peace, stability, growth, and development through governance, it is apparent that a thriving form of democracy, namely socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics, has been translated into real and concrete practice to the benefit of more than 1.4 billion people. This path of democracy fits the logic of history, theory, practice, and values, upholds the shared human values, and is rooted in the land of China, and has thus developed in innovative ways.
1. Logic of history:
the choice of the people
The path of democracy with the people as masters of the country represents the choice of the Chinese people in the flow of history.
—The path to democracy
In 2021, the popular television show Age of Awakening brought a historical scene from more than a hundred years ago back into the minds of Chinese audience. Confronted with the reality that their country existed under the yoke of the aggression of Western powers in a state of poverty and weakness and with a populace that was living in terrible privation, China's educated progressives called for democracy and science to save China, and in 1921, the Communist Party of China was born. This party, which fought for the toiling masses and emblazoned democracy on its banner, led the people to victory in the new-democratic revolution, founding the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, and bringing about China's great transformation from a millennia-old feudal autocracy to a people's democracy.
The above facts bring to light the path of democracy chosen by the CPC and the Chinese people: the governing party led the people in founding a new country, making the people the masters of the country, and launching a national modernization drive. To understand this model, we must first understand the CPC. The CPC is a mission-oriented party devoted to its original aspirations of seeking happiness for the people and rejuvenation for the nation. It is a party of the people that is born of the people and invigorated by the people, and that serves as the people's trusted vanguard and leadership core.
—Escaping the historical cycle of rise and fall
In terms of choosing a system of government, multiple models were attempted in China in modern times including constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary system, a multiparty system, and a presidential system, but all of these attempts ended in failure. In 1954 at the First Session of the First National People's Congress, the first Constitution of the People's Republic of China was adopted, establishing the system of institutions for the people to run the country in which the system of people's congresses is the fundamental political system.
Looking back on the 67-year history of the system of people's congresses, Xi Jinping said the following: "The system of people's congresses upholds the principle that all power in the country belongs to the people, guarantees to the greatest possible extent that the people run the country, and ensures unity between the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and law-based governance, thereby functioning as an effective guarantee for escaping the historical cycle of rise and fall in national governance."
2. Logic of theory:
the creation of the people
The first Constitution of the PRC, adopted by unanimous vote in 1954, has been called "the people's constitution." Using the word "people" to define the country's institutions, with all state power belonging to the people, the word "people" appearing in the name of the country, people's congresses as the organs of state power, and people's governments serving at all levels, signifies that the people occupy the moral high ground and that political power must be accountable to the people.
—Drawing inspiration from the true essence of democracy
The modern bourgeois revolution in the West stirred up popular sentiment with catchwords like freedom and democracy, but only succeeded in realizing democracy for a minority. It was only through the struggle of the toiling masses after the workers' movement sprang up in the middle of the 19th century that the pursuit of popular democracy centered on the principles of equality and justice gradually grew into a wave sweeping the world and became a shared human value. China's practice in democracy with making the people the masters of the country was a part of this wave.
Embarking on the path of democracy, the PRC put great effort into thinking about and grasping the country's approach to democracy from the perspective of modern democratic values. This approach accorded with the democratic logic brought to light by Karl Marx: the state is the people's own creation, the people must become the masters of the country, and the significance of the state's existence lies in helping the people achieve free and well-rounded development to the greatest possible extent.
The socialist orientation of China's practice in democracy signified that it was critical of and superior to bourgeois democracy. The popular sovereignty that China was seeking to establish was a broad, genuine, and effective kind of democracy based on people rather than on capital.
—Rooted in Chinese soil
Democracy could only grow and flourish in China by laying down deep roots. The development of democracy in China has integrated a focus on goals—bringing happiness to the people, making the country prosperous and strong, and achieving national rejuvenation; on real national conditions—China is a developing country with the largest population in the world; and on historical heritage—China is an ancient civilization with history and culture stretching back 5,000 years. In this process, China has always remembered its roots while embracing the outside world and looking toward the future, and shaped a new form of democracy through constant efforts to integrate, improve, and experiment.
3. Logic of practice:
In September 1954, Shen Jilan, a 25-year-old woman from rural Shanxi Province, arrived in Beijing to attend the First Session of the First National People's Congress. The Constitution that she helped vote through at the session clearly stipulated: "Women in the People's Republic of China enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of life: political, economic, cultural, social, and familial." In June 2020, Shen Jilan passed away at 91 years old, having served as a deputy for 13 consecutive national people's congresses over the course of a life that she dedicated to speaking on behalf of the people. Her story illustrates the unique qualities of the people's congress system's design.
The people's congress system fulfills the constitutional principle that all power in the country belongs to the people. Organs of state power at all levels are made up of representatives elected by the people and capable of conveying their wishes and interests. At present, there are more than 2.62 million people's congress deputies serving in China at all levels that as a whole correspond with the country's regional, industrial, and ethnic makeup as well as with the overall population structure of society at large. This ensures that the organs of state power are capable of fully reflecting the wishes of the people.
People's congress deputies remain connected to their individual areas of work and production. They come from all industries and sectors, and many of them come from the primary level. The reasoning behind this is that if deputies are based among the people, they will be better able to play their role as a bridge, ensuring that legislation is more reflective of on-the-ground conditions and sensitive to popular sentiment, and that it is more effective at bringing together the wisdom of the people and delivering benefit to them.
The state organs of the PRC practice the principle of democratic centralism. The National People's Congress and people's congresses at all levels are created through democratic elections. They are accountable to the people, and subject to their oversight. The administrative, supervisory, judicial, and procuratorial organs of the state are created by the people's congresses, accountable to them, and subject to their oversight. State organs function as an integrated whole under the leadership of the CPC. They divide responsibilities in a reasonable manner while also working in close coordination with each other, and fully promote democracy while also practicing centralism. They are thus able to overcome deficiencies such as indecisiveness, inaction, and ineffectiveness.
Democratic centralism is a principle as well as a methodology, through which the right policy decisions are made and vigorously enforced on the basis of fully promoting democracy. It is for this reason that the system of people's congresses has been able to form powerful synergy for national governance and ensured that different organs do not hold each other back or waste valuable energy on quibbling with each other. The system has thus provided important institutional guarantees for the CPC to lead the people in bringing about the miracles of rapid economic growth and enduring social stability.
—Integrating three aspects of governance
How can hundreds of millions of people be brought together into a cohesive whole and maintain a real grasp on state power? The solution that China has found through practice to this massive challenge in running a democracy is the principle of integrating three aspects of governance, namely the leadership of the Party, the role of the people as masters of the country, and law-based governance.
The internal mechanisms of this are as follows: the people come together as a cohesive whole under the leadership of the Party; the common will of the Party and the people is expressed in the form of the Constitution and the law; the state is organized, run, and developed on the basis of the Constitution; and the exercise of power is controlled within the framework of the rule of law. Finally, the people, rallying around the CPC at the core, manage state affairs, economic and cultural affairs, and social affairs through various means and in various forms in accordance with the law. The Constitution and the law as well as their implementation must effectively reflect the will of the people, safeguard their rights and interests, and stimulate their creativity.
4. Logic of values:
let the people be free
The value of freedom can only be realized in a democratic political environment in which the people are masters of the country. The development of democracy, freedom, and human rights in China is a vivid example of this.
The founding of the PRC and the establishment of the socialist system fundamentally eliminated the institutions of the old society that kept the people from being free, and various rights of the people were given constitutional protection. The launch of reform and opening up and the development of the socialist market economy sparked creativity throughout society, while the economy maintained a rapid rate of growth and the people became increasingly well off. After entering into the present era, China succeeded in making a historic exit from absolute poverty, and the goal of moderate prosperity in all respects was achieved for the country's more than 1.4 billion people. The people's desires for better lives are constantly being realized, and the Chinese people of today are more self-confident and self-reliant than ever before.
Whole-process people's democracy: a new model for ensuring popular sovereignty
"If the people are only woken up at voting time and then go back into hibernation afterwards, if they are hyped up by slogans during the election but have no voice once it is over, and if they are pandered to when votes are being canvassed but left out in the cold once the tallies are complete, then they are not living in a true democracy." —Xi Jinping
In China, the people have broad rights to participate in national governance, which are manifested in different areas including democratic elections, democratic consultations, democratic policy decisions, democratic management, and democratic oversight. This "whole-process people's democracy" can be understood from four angles: people, issues, policies, and powers.
how are they chosen?
Governing a major country like China requires capable state leaders and officials at all levels. China's mechanisms for choosing these people are based on the criteria of ability, integrity, and performance, with a combination of appointments and democratic elections at all levels.
—The pyramid framework for appointing good and capable people
Research has shown that in China, officials generally start at the primary level and gradually work their way up. China's leaders rise through step-by-step political development and by being promoted level-by-level. Only those who stand out from their peers, demonstrate outstanding achievements, and possess a wealth of experience are capable of effectively governing the country with the world's largest population.
—Directly elected deputies make up 94% of the total.
Exerting the role of people's congress deputies at all levels is an important reflection of the principle that the people are masters of the country. It is essential for deputies to effectively play their principal role in whole-process people's democracy. According to statistics from April 2021, there are more than 2.62 million people's congress deputies serving at all levels, with 94% of deputies at the county and township levels directly elected by voters on a one-person-one-vote basis.
how are they discussed?
Whole-process people's democracy emphasizes the participation of citizens in the entire decision-making process for public policy, including participation before, during, and after the actual making of decisions. It strives to fulfill the rights of the people to be informed, to participate, to express themselves, and to exercise oversight, and seeks out the optimal approach by pooling wisdom.
—A direct line to legislation
In recent years, the Legal Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee has set up legislative outreach offices at the primary level, providing a direct line linking the suggestions of the populace to the highest legislative organ of the state. By October 2021, 22 outreach offices nationwide had provided more than 7,800 opinions and suggestions on annual legislative plans and 126 draft laws. More than 2,200 of these have been adopted to varying degrees, adding to the precision of legislation.
In 1999, democratic seminars sprang up from Wenling, Zhejiang Province as a form of grassroots democracy for managing public affairs through thorough consultations. Similar types of primary-level consultative democracy have since had an impact in other areas, such as the "county wise men council" in Deqing, Zhejiang Province, the "Gubei assembly hall" in Changning District, Shanghai, "evening chats" in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, and "2+4 frontline governance" at the Changle residential compound in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. All these have played an important role in promoting good governance.
how are they set?
For a considerable period of time, China's approach in reform has been described as "crossing the river by feeling for stones," but what fascinates people is how China has so often succeeded in feeling out the right stones. This is in fact the result of a commitment to sound and democratic policy-making.
—Taking experience from the primary level seriously
The central authorities have great respect for the pioneering spirit of the primary level, and incorporate useful experience from the primary level into decisions on national reform. Before major national reform measures are launched, they are first put to the test in a limited number of localities in order to accumulate experience before being applied nationwide. Medical reform in Sanming, Fujian Province is an excellent example of this.
—The benchmark for decisions on fighting Covid-19
Some policy decisions are incredibly difficult. The decision made by China's highest authorities to lock down Wuhan after beginning of the novel coronavirus epidemic in early 2020 is one such example. All such decisions, whether locking down the city or mobilizing to come to its aid, were based on the principle of putting the people and human life above all else.
how is it exercised?
Power is a double-edged sword. If it is wielded in accordance with the law and rules, it can bring benefit to the people, but if it is abused, it will invariably bring disaster to the country and the people. In China, powers are defined, regulated, constrained, and supervised through a set of institutional arrangements including intraparty oversight, oversight by people's congresses, democratic oversight, judicial oversight, public oversight, and media oversight. This ensures that public power is confined to an institutional cage.
—The "Goldbach's conjecture" of national governance
The CPC has regarded realizing self-supervision as the "Goldbach's conjecture" of national governance, and carried out institutional innovation with the aim of solving this challenge. One such strategic innovation is the practice of inspections. The central authorities dispatch inspection teams entrusted with independent supervisory and investigatory authority to lower-level departments. These teams are tasked with conducting thorough political inspections and uncovering problems pertaining to efforts to strengthen the Party in political, ideological, and organizational terms, improve conduct, tighten discipline, and fight against corruption. This system effectively integrates the top-down model of official oversight with the bottom-up model of public oversight, which allows it to discover problems more easily and exert a deterrent effect.
—Oversight by other political parties
Democratic oversight in China operates under a special multi-dimensional framework related to the country's new political party system. Under this framework, the CPC works in cooperation with the other eight parties. They are not opposition parties, but rather parties that participate in national governance. They are regarded by the CPC as genuine friends that are able to provide forthright criticism and suggestions.
—A new model for supervising the exercise of state power
Since 2012, the CPC has been engaged in an unprecedentedly fierce battle against corruption. "Tigers" have been taken down with no area out of bounds, "flies" have been swatted without leniency, and "foxes" have been hunted down without pause. On the institutional level, integrated steps have been taken to ensure that officials do not have the opportunity, desire, or audacity to engage in corruption, and this has effectively curbed the spread of corruption. As symbolized by the establishment of the National Commission of Supervision and the promulgation of the Supervision Law in 2018, China has launched a new model for supervising the exercise of state power featuring full coverage over all Party members and everyone working in the public sector who exercises public power, and built a sound, standardized, and well-regimented anti-corruption system from the ground up.
a litmus test for the quality of institutions
"Whether a country's path of development works is judged, first and foremost, by whether it fits the country's conditions; whether it follows the development trend
of the times; whether it brings about economic growth, social advancement, better living standards and social stability; whether it has the people's endorsement and support; and whether it contributes to the progress of humanity." —Xi Jinping
As the old advertising tagline goes, "Don't take our word for it, see for yourself." Democracy must be authentic and effective. If it cannot be translated into good governance and bring benefit to the people, then it cannot be counted on, no matter how pretty the package it comes in.
1. Administration-oriented democracy that leads to good governance
Thinking on all the problems and chaos that have emerged from liberal democracy, modern Western scholars have said that a democracy that cannot respond to public opinion is invalid democracy, that the ideal democracy is one in which voters have ultimate control over the political agenda, and that good governance in society is dependent upon the governance capacity of the state.
It is precisely in terms of bringing about good governance that Chinese democracy demonstrates clear strengths and efficacy. China's democracy is a kind of administration-oriented democracy that leads to good governance. It has three key elements: ample opportunity for all of society to participate, state autonomy, and responsible decision-making and effective execution with regard to policy. This administration-oriented democracy stresses not just the democratic nature of the political process, but also that the outcome of this process should be good governance.
2. Efficiency-oriented democracy that demonstrates great vitality
Democratic centralism equips China with ample vitality as well as exceptional capacity for implementation. This principle stresses the need to promote democracy in order to stimulate the enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity of the people, as well as the need to come to the right consensus. It therefore enables China to pool wisdom on the basis of democracy, practice sound decision-making, and see that this is translated into real action. This approach reflects the art of harmonizing a variety of voices into a single chorus, and is capable of effectively overcoming and preventing the indecisiveness and inaction characteristic of decentralism. It is both rational and highly efficient.
Democratic centralism is the organizational principle of the CPC, a constitutionally stipulated principle that state organs at all levels must adhere to, and a principle for making decisions on policy. It is manifested in all aspects of national governance, and is becoming increasingly well defined in procedural and institutional terms.
3. Momentum-oriented democracy that brings together the wisdom of the people
Deng Xiaoping had a famous quote: "When the people's initiative is aroused, that's the best manifestation of democracy." It is fair to say that without democracy, the Chinese miracle would not have been possible. An important reason for China's increased pace in modernization after the launch of reform and opening up has been the expansion of democracy through comprehensive reforms including political and economic reforms. This has stimulated the enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity of hundreds of millions of people, helped develop productive forces, and made it so that the people are truly able to participate in reform and social development.
China has remained committed to empowering people through development, continued to expand investment in people, and provided more opportunities for people to develop freely. An important part of this is that expanded freedom has brought about further liberation of productive forces as well as major gains in terms of human capital and social capital. This has injected momentum into national development, and created a mutually reinforcing relationship between development and freedom. The Chinese Dream has outlined all new horizons for more than 1.4 billion Chinese people in the pursuit of democracy, freedom, and human rights, and has the power to inspire people to contribute their wisdom and strength.
4. Systematic democracy that is verifiable
Judging whether or not a political system is democratic and advanced is no easy task. Chinese leaders have put forward the following eight main criteria for judging whether or not a country's political system is democratic: whether the country can conduct leadership transitions in a lawful and orderly manner; whether the people can administer national, social, economic, and cultural affairs in accordance with the law; whether people can openly express their demands; whether various sectors of society can participate effectively in national political affairs; whether state decision-making is rational and democratic; whether talent from a variety of sectors can enter systems of national leadership and administration through fair competition; whether the governing party can exercise leadership over national affairs in accordance with the Constitution and the law; and whether the exercise of power is subject to effective constraints and supervision.
These eight criteria are a summary of experience and lessons that have been drawn from the development of democratic politics in China and abroad. They reflect the systematic nature of whole-process people's democracy, and demonstrate a comprehensive, progressive, and effective perspective on democracy.
China's approach in pursuing the shared human values
"We should vigorously advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom, which are the shared values of humanity, and work together to provide the right guiding philosophy for building a better world. Peace and development are our common cause, equity and justice our common aspiration, and democracy and freedom our common pursuit." —Xi Jinping
If pursuing the shared human values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom is the right thing to do, then doing the right thing the right way represents a huge practical challenge. The path of democracy, freedom, and human rights that China has pioneered offers some useful revelations.
1. Three key factors for delivering effective governance
China's endeavors in democracy, freedom, and human rights have shaped a body of effective concepts and methods for governance. The key factors behind China's ability to deliver effective governance can be summed up into the following three: an advanced political party, a commitment to putting the people first, and a focus on development.
—Key factor 1: an advanced political party
As a political party, the Communist Party of China is special. It represents the broadest majority of the people, and does not represent the interests of any individual interest group, any power group, or any privileged stratum. In governance, the CPC is focused not on short-term election battles, but rather on bringing lasting peace and stability to the nation. What makes the CPC an advanced political party is that it always thinks in terms of the people's interests, moves with the trends of human progress and changing times, and possesses strong capacity for self-reform. The Party exercises overall leadership and coordination, uniting and mobilizing all political resources to seek happiness for the people and rejuvenation for the nation. It has its own logic to how it works.
The leadership of the CPC functions as a guarantee for the Party's governing authority, for the effectiveness of democratic decision-making, and for the continuity of policy. Meanwhile, the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation ensures that policymaking decisions in China draw upon the best and brightest and pool the wisdom of the people. Finally, the contribution of the public enables the governing Party to unite the strength of the broadest possible majority of the people. The integration of democracy and centralism has effectively reduced the loss of political resources to infighting. Intra-party oversight and the constantly developing public oversight together function as a multi-angled guarantee for accountability in democracy.
—Key factor 2: a commitment to putting the people first
Today, approximately one in every ten adult Chinese citizens is a CPC member. They are spread throughout families and communities. The Party's purpose, namely serving the people wholeheartedly, its founding mission, namely seeking happiness for the people and rejuvenation for the nation, and the principles it follows, namely making the people the central focus and putting them above all else, all reflect the close bond between the Party and the people and demonstrate where the power comes from and whom it ultimately belongs to.
In China, all initiatives are judged by whether or not they earn the support, approval, satisfaction, and consent of the people. When these criteria are applied to judge efficacy in national governance, China proves to be an extremely high scorer.
—Key factor 3: a focus on development
A 2020 report from the RAND Corporation in the United States insightfully noted that China's worldview is centered on development, and that this worldview could give China a unique edge in competition between countries.
Over the past seven decades, the CPC and the Chinese government have remained focused on development, and as a result the Chinese people have acquired more and more freedoms and democratic rights. These additional freedoms and democratic rights have in turn spurred further development of the entire country, while the effects of development have improved democratic governance on an ongoing basis, thereby providing the rights of the people with better guarantees. The dialectical relationship between development and freedom and the interactive relationship between democracy and human rights have been vividly illustrated through China's endeavors.
2. Realizing the shared human values: four principles
China is an innovator and faithful practitioner of democracy, freedom, and human rights, and has provided important insights for realizing the shared human values. These can be summed up into the following four principles.
—Practice is key.
Rich and dynamic practical experience is the fount of theory for innovation in democracy, freedom, and human rights. The only way to test and improve the effectiveness of theoretical and institutional designs is through practice. China's practical endeavors in democracy, which have made ensuring that the people are the masters of the country the guiding aspiration, whole-process people's democracy the defining feature, the eight criteria for democracy the basic standard, and taking a path of one's own the general approach, are rich with unique Chinese features while also acting on the shared human values. Through these endeavors, China has established a new model in human political advancement.
—Self-determination must be respected.
The people of every country have the right to choose their own system and path of development. This is the epitome of wellbeing, and also tallies with the spirit of democracy. Conversely, forcing one's view of democracy, freedom, and human rights on others is an affront to the true spirit of these values. In order to develop democracy, all countries must escape the fog of dogmatism and the hegemony of discourse and instead find their own path. Copying the political systems of other countries will only result in a poor imitation. This approach will not lead to democracy, but rather create hardship, and could even cause a country to ruin its future.
—Progress happens in phases.
To realize democracy and freedom and develop human rights, different countries must take a step-by-step approach according to their own national conditions. While it is important not to miss opportunities, it is also imperative that countries do not try to go beyond their current stage of development and run before they can walk.
—The process is always ongoing.
Pursuing democracy and freedom and respecting and protecting human rights are part of a process of development that strives toward perfection. This process is therefore always ongoing because there is no best, only better. The practice of democracy in the West launched the journey of modern democracy, but this does not mean that the development of democracy in human society ends with the Western model. The efforts of people in different countries to keep exploring will continue to enrich and improve the causes of democracy, freedom, and human rights in human society. This will ensure that the shared human values do not gradually become hollowed out and wither away, but instead become more dynamic as they evolve in meaning.
3. The question of our age:
"What has happened to the world, and how should we respond?" On January 18, 2017, President Xi Jinping raised this "question of our age" while speaking at the United Nations in Geneva.
In today's world, with democracy, freedom, and human rights corroding and losing their original flavor and essence, the state of governance in many countries has become a cause for unease. The decay of democracy has already become an incontrovertible fact. Humanity needs a new framework and new knowledge to break out of this predicament and find a path for realizing the shared human values in this age of globalization.
The knowledge that more than 1.4 billion Chinese people have acquired through arduous explorations to realize democracy, freedom, and human rights should not be ignored. China's approach to developing democracy, freedom, and human rights has provided confidence, knowledge, impetus, and methods for addressing the problems of decaying democracy, threats to freedom, and challenges to human rights faced by humanity.
Cultural diversity has made our world an incredibly colorful place. Diversity brings exchange, exchange brings synthesis, and synthesis brings progress. Diversity is not only logical, but also beautiful. China is an advocate of all nations sharing the best of what they have to offer. Upholding harmony amidst diversity in terms of democratic politics and human rights endeavors, all countries should learn from each other through exchanges and work together to drive the advancement of human civilization.
Some people used to believe that countries were the largest political unit, and that the world was just a geographical space. But today, it is apparent that all of humanity is part of a single community, that our planet is a global village, and that no country can go it alone. With the world becoming increasingly multipolar and international relations becoming more democratized, humanity can only unlock a brighter future by seizing historical opportunities and making the right choices. From its commitment to pursuing a just cause for the common good and its vision of building a global community of shared future, China's view of the world as one family has charted the right course for our world that is now standing at a crossroads.
While defending democracy, freedom, and human rights in the practice of socialism, the CPC has made serving the people's overall interests the fundamental aim in all its political endeavors. In the process, it has upheld the principles that democracy should function according to the logic of the people, that freedom should help all people achieve well-rounded development, and that happiness should be the highest standard of achievement in human rights. It has successfully blazed a uniquely Chinese path to modernization, established a new model for human advancement, and responded to the question of our age with Chinese solutions that have global significance.
(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No. 24, 2021)