China’s unique system of governance: Part One…a cocktail of different governing systems


THE world of late has been pressured by the West to accept democracy as opposed to communism as a way of governance.
The West, with the US and Europe in particular, have been vicious against schools of thought pertaining to governing nations that are contradictory to what they view as democracy.
The West has also tried to convince the world that Western style democracy can be universal.
This is not true as each nation has different cultural, historical and traditional factors that are unique to its own.
How then can a system of governance moulded on American soil work for African and Asian societies and achieve the same results.
Even more disturbing is the fact that so-called democracy has been failing to correct social and economic ills in the West. Corruption and abuse of power has been evident in the US and many European countries regardless of their claim of being model democratic nations.
George Bush Junior allegedly rigged the elections to become president of US from 2001 to 2004, then retaining the seat until 2009.
Regardless of uproars and strikes by civilians, Bush served two terms, during which he and other notorious Government officials coerced the US and NATO to get involved in controversial wars whose devastating effects resonate to this day.
Democracy comes at the expense of deprioritising competency. Organisations and individuals through media and other means can and do manipulate the population to vote for individuals, laws and resolutions that they desire.
This does not necessarily make them the best choices for the country.
Democratic elections in the West have often ended up with regret on the part of voters because the honest truth is the common citizen has no way of truly knowing the capacity of the candidates that they are made to vote for.
The illusion of freedom which comes by voting and the campaigns that sway the votes are exciting, but rarely fix the problems at hand.
There must be more scientific ways of obtaining a working leadership in a nation and these are coupled with the specific nation’s history, culture, tradition and circumstance.
Unfortunately the West has imposed and exported its democracy to places that it is not compatible with, particularly Africa.
The two continents have varying levels of development and often contradicting cultures.
US democratic presidential terms are limited to eight years when the countries in Africa may still need longer periods to properly address and fix problems at hand.
Rwanda has been led by Paul Kagame since year 2000.
The Rwandan Government has adopted Western style democracy, but has had to amend the issue of the presidential terms because the current President is making great strides and accelerating the nation’s development.
If it is not broken, do not fix it.
Why lose a good leader just because some Americans chose to shorten their presidential terms.
The choice of the Rwandans to defy this clause and do what fits their circumstances is in fact democracy or the will of the people at work.
To ultimately prove that tailor-made systems of governance are the best chance for national progress as opposed to the dogmatic universalism of Western democracy we shall look at China’s system of governance.
China has called itself ‘communist’ and has been called authoritarian by Western governments.
In reality, China is not entirely communist nor is it authoritarian. Neither is it entirely void of democratic policies.
China’s system of governance is a tailor-made mix of different governing systems to fit its unique population and uphold its national philosophy which is deeply engraved in its culture.
The term ‘democracy’ has been often coupled with the term ‘capitalism’.
For this reason, the Chinese do not identify themselves as a democratic nation but communist.
Seeing the large size and population of their nation, it makes sense that China’s system of governance should be community-based.
Capitalism gives way to individuals and organisations potentially dominating others including the Government.
This has led the West to have a small number of people owning more money and assets than the majority and the majority suffering without end.
China on the other hand has not crystalised its means of problem solving and strategically uses capitalist policies to adapt to market trends while keeping the integrity of their communist ideals intact.
When China improves economically, it improves for the majority and not a small group of people.
Nationalisation and privatisation are both evident in China unlike the West which discourages nationalisation and promotes privatisation so as to gain from the nations that ascribe to Western democracy.
China has a one party system which is usually misunderstood to be a dictatorship.
There are actually small opposition parties which amount to about eight but are not allowed to challenge the ruling party which was behind the formation of the modern Chinese nation. The ruling party is known as the Communist Party of China (CPC) or China’s Communist Party (CCP) and was once led by the legendary Mao Zedong beginning 1949.
After Mao Zedong, the country has had five other leaders who are all of the Han ethnic group which constitutes the overwhelming majority.
Mao served as leader for 27 years which is the longest duration that has been served by a President in China.
He was followed by Hua Guofeng who served two years from 1976 to 1978; the shortest term ever served by a Chinese president.
The second longest term was served from 1978 to 1992 by the legendary Deng Xiaoping; a period of 14 years during which China officiated the much celebrated ‘Opening Up Policy’.
Since then, the Chinese presidency has averaged 10 years as Jiang Zemin and his successor Hu Jintao served from 1992 to 2002 and 2002 to 2012 respectively.
The current president of China who is affectionately called ‘Chairman’ as in the time of Mao has been in power since 2012.
The process of selecting leaders in China is not by way of democratic elections, but a scientific assessment of performance within party members.
The CPC has almost 90 million members.
It is a long ladder up to the top which can take about 30 years to accomplish.
China has a pyramidal election system which starts at the base of the pyramid.
One has to prove oneself competent from the lower levels.
One cannot simply aspire to be a leader and be successful through campaigning as did Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the US.
In China, one’s ideology, loyalty and performance is assessed throughout his career.
All who end up becoming presidents would have first managed districts with millions of people or companies with hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of revenue.
One is also expected to prove their competence outside of their hometown to discourage corruption.
Although patronage helps, merit is key to winning endorsement to become a presidential candidate in China.
One should have some seniority and unquestionable experience to make the list.
As one rises up the ranks, it is also important to maintain good relations with military personnel and retirees that used to work for Government.
The current Chinese leader known as Xi Jinping is the son of a war veteran and the first of his kind to become president.
But even for him, it took over 30 years of serving the country at lower levels in order to prove himself.
He led villages with over 150 million people before and has managed large companies.


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