At the American Democracy Summit to be held by U.S. President Joe Biden later this week, China launched a public relations campaign aimed at subverting the global narrative about what democracy is and trying to attack the U.S. political system.
China and Russia were excluded from the guest list for this event, which will be held from December 9th to 10th.
But after protesting their rejection together in a rare OpEd, Beijing now seems to have taken an offensive.
On Saturday, China hosted an international democracy forum on a similar theme, and the powerful State Council released a white paper titled “China: Democracy Effective”, which describes how China has developed its democratic model.
Although China is known as a one-party country led by the Communist Party of China, the country does have its own legislature.this People’s Congress There are nearly 3,000 party members selected from various regions, provinces, and even the army, and most of them are party members. Considered by critics as a “rubber stamp parliament,” all members of the National People’s Congress meet once a year, and most decisions are made by a much smaller standing committee.
The country does not have a free media or an independent judiciary-both of which are generally regarded as essential to a functioning democracy.
The Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit calls China an “authoritarian regime” and ranks 151st among 167 countries and regions in 2020. The semi-autonomous Hong Kong is called a “hybrid regime.” The ranking assesses democracy in a country based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, government operations, political participation, and political culture. The ranking refers to the United States as a “defective democracy.”
According to the China National Broadcasting Corporation CGTN, China’s Democracy Summit included a long list of participants, including Spanish Communist Party Chairman Jose L. Centra Gomez and former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. They talked about the differences. Common values between social systems.
“From their perspectives and perspectives, the motivation is to propose what they believe is another explanation for democracy. It complements their narrative about connectivity and economic development capacity building,” said David Lin, a part-time researcher at the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore When citing major infrastructure projects such as the “Belt and Road Initiative”, he said.
The summit and the social media blitz on Twitter by Chinese media and officials are just one way for China to try to counter Biden’s narrative of democracy because China is trying to present itself as a true multilateral participant, Song Wendi said. Lecturer of Taiwan Studies Program at Australian National University.
Oh, we had such a participation rate and satisfaction rate in the Soviet era! But at least they didn’t call it democracy at the time… https://t.co/0zdRf9QDtS
-Diana Mickeviciene (@DMickeviciene) December 5, 2021
-Global Times (@globaltimesnews) December 4, 2021
During the Trump administration, as the White House Withdraw from major global initiatives, Such as the Paris Agreement on climate change, and threaten to Leaving the World Health OrganizationUnlike the United States, China portrays itself as a global multilateral leader.
‘The Big Tent Method’
In contrast, Biden, who took office in January, often talked about the struggle between democracy and authoritarianism-an important theme of this week’s democracy summit.
Delegates from 111 countries were invited to participate, including Norway, New Zealand and Canada, all of which ranked in the top five in the EIU Democracy Index.
The Carnegie Foundation for International Peace pointed out that the guest list also includes “several countries with authoritarian characteristics.” The three participating countries-Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Iraq-were considered “not free” in Freedom House’s 2021 World Freedom Report, while the other 31 countries were considered “partially free.”
Carnegie said: “Biden’s team did not limit participation to the core group of a determined democracy, but chose a big tent approach.”
Song said that by hosting its own events, China is trying to “play down, redefine and weaken Biden’s efforts” to use American ideology as a rallying point for global dialogue. “It does not directly face the West or its narrative, but it tries to make room for its own definition and reasonable denial.” China can interpret the concept as it sees fit.
However, not all Chinese signals about Western democracy are so subtle.
Soon after the US Democracy Summit was announced at the end of November, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called US democracy a “disastrous country” and “privatized” democratic values.
On Sunday, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a critical report on the state of American democracy. The report also stated that a single “standard” should not be used to “measure the world’s diverse political systems.”
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) December 6, 2021
With the release of the report and a new round of criticism of the US model, China may be sending a signal to other countries participating in the US summit on Thursday that they should fight back against US ideology—and may even be at risk because of Chinese claims.
According to Reuters, the US summit will be accompanied by a new round of sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department on institutions and individuals that “undermine democracy” and trample on human rights.Officials accused of participating in the crackdown in remote western regions Xinjiang with Hongkong Has been sanctioned by China in response anger.
“We know that many of the participants in the upcoming summit are democracies with asterisks, so China is trying to remind these outlying democracies that you may have much more in common with China than with the United States,” ANU Sung said.
He said that China’s message to the rest of the world is this: “When the Democracy Summit tries to come up with any accusatory language that tries to make China look unfavorable, maybe you shouldn’t sign too much, because it might hurt you too. Or try to soften the language, because it is not only in China’s interests, but also in your own interests.”