Photo: Yang Sheng/GT
At the Lanting Forum in Beijing on Monday, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech themed, “Promoting dialogue and cooperation and managing differences: bringing China-US relations back to the right track.”
In his address, Wang reiterated China’s consistent stance and offered some new thoughts. This is a response to some concerns from the international community, especially Western societies, about China’s development path.
To begin with, a major concern regards China not being democratic. They tend to believe that China’s reform and opening up will regress and the country will return to the era of the former Soviet Union. Certain leaders from the US and the West think that some of Chinese leaders have no democratic concepts and cannot understand the political language of the modern world. In response, Wang said, “China is a country that always upholds and promotes people’s democracy… Democracy is not a patent of a few countries. It is a common value of humanity.”
Wang’s remarks recognized the universality of democratic values. But universality of democracy does not necessarily mean it has the exact same democratic form, path or methods of praxis in different countries. Different democracies share the same democratic goals, but some attach more importance on the process, and some focus more on the result. While some prioritize direct democracy, others value indirect democracy. Some attach importance to competitive democracy, yet some appreciate consultative democracy. Different paths can provide more diverse political outcomes. This can help prevent one specific political