Netizen Voices: Surprise! China’s a Democracy

In the June 20 Global Times piece “China Became a Kind of Democracy Long Ago” (中国早已进入民主国家的范畴), Zheng Ruolin contested the centrality of elections to democracy:

Elections are only the final indication of the formation of democracy, and are certainly not the main indicator, nor are they democracy’s absolute ends. When a country’s leadership is not hereditary and they leave office at the end of their terms, this country is not only a republic, but has also entered into a type of democratic system… In truth, China already became a kind of democracy long ago.

选举只是民主最终形成的标志,却不是主要标志,更不是民主的最终目标。当一国领导人并非通过世袭上台,而又因任期限制而下台,那么这个国家就已经不仅仅是共和制的,而且进入了民主体制的范畴……事实上,中国早已进入民主国家的范畴。

Baffled netizens had a few things to say about this on Weibo. A selection of their comments are below. Read more comments from CDT Chinese and Tea Leaf Nation.

WuJiaxiang: [Hasn’t China Already Democratized?] After the qualitative argument, out comes the “terms of office theory”: The Global Times has published another perplexing piece, saying democracy does not equal elections. All you need are national leaders whose reign is neither hereditary or life-long. This argument confuses the alternation of the highest powers with the issue of national sovereignty. The leader of a democratic system must adhere to a term, but this by no means equates with democracy. The essence of democracy is public participation and changes of leadership determined by the people. Dictators can serve terms in office too: they can take turns being despots.

吴 稼祥:【中国已经民主了吗】素质论之后,又出“任期论”:环球时报又发奇文,说是民主不等于选举,只要国家元首不终身不世袭。这是混淆了最高权力更迭,与 国家主权归属。民主制首脑必须是任期的,但任期并不等于民主。民主的本质,一是公民参与,二是元首更迭是否由公民决定。独裁者也可是任期的:轮流独裁。

ReturnToTheLiving: Reply to @PublicServantRevelation: The government’s defense installments are basically there to guard against the people. Since the establishment of the country, they have constantly knocked the wind out of opposition parties! Unless it implodes, the citizens of the Celestial Empire will never have their day in the sun!

回向众生:回复@公仆启示录:正腐的国防建设基本上是防止人民的,他们在建国伊始就陆续消灭了国内的反对派势力!除非内部崩溃,否则天朝的百姓基本上就没有出头之日了!

SparoowBeta: With this kind of reasoning, China long ago joined the list of developed and rich countries. Look at even the lowliest officials with their Audi A6s and their chauffeurs. If they’re not stuffing their guts at a banquet after work, then they’re at clubs with a bar girls in their arms. What is going on? Saudi Arabia has only a few royalty like this, while we have 40 million!

Sparoow测试版: 以此推理,中国早已进入发达、并且有钱国家行列了,你看领导们最不地的也是奥迪A6,还有专职司机,下班不是酒宴穿肠,就是会所小姐怀抱,什么样的日子啊,沙特也就是几个皇族如此么,而我们有4000万!

KunBao: Article 79 of the constitution stipulates that the president and vice president be chosen through general elections. But today the Global Times published this garbage editorial, saying, “We will one day also choose our leaders through election. It’s just that we must first solve all the problems which elections cannot solve.” Does this mean that up until now our leaders have not been produced through elections? Which is in violation of the constitution, elections or the Global Times?

坤 报:宪法第79条规定,国家领导、副领导由人大选举。但环球时报今天发表奇文,《中国早已进入民主国家的范畴》,指“我们有一天也会通过选举来选择我们的 领导人。只是,此前,我们首先要解决选举所解决不了的其他问题”,这意思是,截至目前,我们的领导不是选举产生的?到底是选举违宪,还是环球违宪?

PdsS: Uh-huh. We’ve known for years who the next chairman will be. Democracy!

PdsS:嗯。几年前我们就知道了下任主席.民主!

amwso: Oh, Yao, Shun and Yu,* my forefathers, I weep for you. It was you who established the democratic system!

amwso:尧啊,舜啊,禹啊,我的祖先啊,我哭去。你们那时候就创立了民主制度呀!

* Legendary emperors of ancient China.

FierceAnimals: Not even mob bosses inherit power. Don’t you need to study this further?

猛兇物動:黑帮老大也都没世袭,你们要不要再深入学习?

JingweiVowsToFillTheSea: There are two kinds of dictatorships. One is the North Korean family style, the other is a collective style. For example…

精卫誓填海: 独裁分为两种 一种就是朝鲜的家族式 还有一种就是集团式 比如 ..

Translation by Deng Bolun.

Netizen Voices” is an original CDT series. If you would like to reuse this content, please follow the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 agreement.