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On the Process and Rights in the Whole-process People’s Democracy
September 24,2022   By:CSHRS
On the Process and Rights in the Whole-process People’s Democracy
 
CHANG Jian* & LI Tingting**
 
Abstract: Theoretically, the whole-process people’s democracy involves five processes, namely, political process, policy process, urban and rural community governance process, enterprises and institutions management process, and international exchange process. Each process includes several links which involve different democratic rights. To comprehensively promote the whole-process people’s democracy, it is necessary to make a detailed distinction between the democratic rights of each process, build a corresponding system and mechanism for the protection of rights, improve the ability of people in democracy, and establish the system and mechanism for evaluating the effect of democracy implementation.
 
Keywords: whole-process people’s democracy · democratic rights · process democracy 
 
Based on the long-term exploration of democratic practice by the Chinese people, an important idea, i.e., whole-process people’s democracy, has been put forward since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping has pointed out: “China’s whole-process people’s democracy has achieved unity of process and outcome democracy, procedural and substantive democracy, direct and indirect democracy, as well as the people’s democracy and the will of the state. It is the most extensive, most practical and most effective socialist democracy as well as the whole-chain, all-round and full-covering democracy.”1 The proposal of the idea of whole-process people’s democracy has shown that the communist party and state of China have deepened their understanding of the democracy development law and developed and enriched democratic ideas, systems and practices. 
 
The White Paper China’s Democracy published on December 4, 2021 by the Information Office of the State Council pointed out that whole-process people’s democracy “combines electoral democracy with consultative democracy, connects democratic election, democratic consultation, democratic policy-making, democratic administration and democratic supervision, and covers various aspects such as economy, politics, culture, society and ecological civilization.” In its implementation effect China’s whole-process people’s democracy “makes every link and every aspect of the national political life and social life embody the people’s will and lets the people’s voices be heard, and effectively prevents excessive pre-election promises and no promise being unfulfilled after the election”; on the other hand, whole-process people’s democracy “prevents social instability that is likely to occur in the modernization process of a late-developing country from occurring in a dramatic social change” in China and “this has created a quick economic development miracle and a long-term social stability miracle.”2
 
Scholars have extensively discussed the connotations of “whole-process people’s democracy,” and they have explained the “wholeness” expressed in “whole-process people’s democracy” in the following four aspects. First, the process is a whole chain, including democratic elections, democratic consultations, democratic policy-making, democratic administration and democratic supervision. Second, its extent is all-round, including inner-party democracy and people’s democracy, national political democracy and grassroots governance democracy, domestic democracy and democracy in international relations. Third, all fields are covered, including political democracy, economic democracy, social democracy, and cultural democracy. Fourth, the forms are various; they include direct democracy and indirect democracy, electoral democracy and consultative democracy, traditional democracy and network democracy.3 Based on these,“whole-process people’s democracy” is not a single process but rather five different processes, i.e., a political process, a policy process, an urban and rural community governance process, an enterprise and public institution management process and an international communication process. There are some intersections between these processes. For example, legislative policy-making belongs to both a political process and a policy process. There are intersections between law enforcement and policy implementation. Urban and rural community governance is introducing more political process factors. However, it is worth further research as they still belong to five different processes and have different functional emphases, including different links, forms and mechanisms, especially when they are related to democratic rights. To pragmatically promote whole-process people’s democracy, it is necessary to distinguish the five processes, confirm different democratic rights corresponding to them and explore the protection mechanism and system of the corresponding rights. To avoid intersections and repetitions, our analyses of the five processes have focused on the most important functions and links of all the processes, and the democratic rights and protection systems corresponding to them. 
 
I. Democratic Rights Related to a Political Process 
 
Narrowly defined, the “political process” refers to how interest groups participate in politics. Broadly defined, the “political process” refers to the dynamic process of political life. Political activities include elections, communication and policymaking, in addition to the activities of organizations such as interest groups and political parties.4 Different theories put different interpretations on the political process. 
 
The political process theory holds that a political process is a complete process from interest expression to interest integration and interest realization.5 A political process consists of a series of interactive actions between political actors and governments. A political actor can be an individual, a group or a political party. A political process is carried out focusing on political power. Various forms of power struggles such as elections, violent conflicts, negotiations, lobbying, making promises and other political activities constitute important contents of the political process.6 Judged from the angle of the public choice theory, politics is the process in which a series of transactions between individuals and groups are completed out of self-interest. The political system theory holds that politics is an input, conversion and output process, and the political process is in essence an authoritative allocation of values.7 Scholars have differently defined “a political process” from different research perspectives. Bao Yajun has interpreted “a political process” as “a process of a specific historical period in which political subjects, political objects and relations between the political subjects and objects change and develop” and the process may include political power pursuit and exertion processes, political revolution processes, political improvement processes, political development or change processes and rule change and development processes such as legislative processes, policymaking processes and institutional changes.8 Scholars Zhu Guanglei et al. call a political process a government process. They have divided the Chinese government process into different links, including links from opinion expression to opinion integration, policymaking and policy implementation.9
 
This paper believes that the essential contents of the political process are the formation, distribution, exertion, regulation and maintenance of political power. Around these functions, the political process includes elections, appointments, legislation, law enforcement, justice and other main links. Among these main links, the election is the formation mode of political power, and the appointment is the distribution mode of political power, the legislation is to establish exertion rules of political power and express the will of political power, law enforcement is the implementation of the will of political power and the justice regulates and maintains political power. 
 
The fundamental objective of adopting a democratic system in a political process is to let the people manage the political affairs and determine the distribution, expression, exertion and regulation of political power. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out: “To let the people administer our political affairs is the essence and core of our socialist democratic politics.”10 It is explicitly stipulated in Article 2 of the current Constitution of the People’s Republic of China: “All power in the People’s Republic of China belongs to the people. The National People’s Congress and the local people’s congresses at various levels are the organs through which the people exert state power. The people administer state affairs and manage economic and cultural undertakings and social affairs through various channels and in various ways in accordance with the provisions of law.” The right of the people to administer political affairs is a fundamental right that the people exercise in the political process, and it is reflected in the whole process, including elections, appointments, legislation and justice. 
 
A. Democratic elections and protection of citizens’ right to elect and right to be elected 
 
The rights related to the election link are citizens’ right to elect and the right to be elected. It is explicitly stipulated in Article 34 of the current Constitution of the People’s Republic of China: “All citizens of the People’s Republic of China who have reached the age of 18 have the right to elect and stand for election, regardless of ethnic status, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status or length of residence, except persons deprived of political rights according to law.” It is explicitly stipulated in Article 3: “The National People’s Congress and the local people’s congresses at various levels are constituted through democratic elections. They are responsible to the people and subject to their supervision. All administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs of the state are created by the people’s congresses to which they are responsible and by which they are supervised.” General Secretary Xi Jinping attaches great importance to the people’s right to elect. He has pointed out: “We must ensure that the people will exercise their right to elect and elect their NPC members according to law.” 11
 
B. People’s Congresses exert the political democratic right on behalf of the people 
 
General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out: “The system of people’s congress is an important system carrier for China to achieve whole-process people’s democracy,”12 and we must “support the people in exercising state power through the people’s congresses, ensure that the people exert state power through the people’s congresses,”13 “ensure that the people’s right to know, right to participation, right to freedom of expression and right to supervision are implemented in all the aspects, all the links and all the processes of the work of the people’s congresses and ensure that the Party and state can hear voices from the people in all the links of the decision-making, implementation and supervision work.”14 The National People’s Congress elected by the people exerts state power and administers state affairs on behalf of the people, including appointment and removal of state organ leaders, making, modification and abolishment of the Constitution and laws, and supervision of law enforcement and justice. 
 
1. Power of appointment and removal of state organ leaders 
 
In China, state organ leaders at various levels are elected or appointed by the people’s congresses at the same levels.15 It is stipulated in Article 62 and Article 63 of the current Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that the National People’s Congress has the powers to elect and remove the President and Vice Presidents of the People’s Republic of China, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Director of the National Supervisory Commission, President of the Supreme People’s Court, Chief Procurator of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate; that the National People’s Congress decides and can remove candidates for premier of the State Council according to the nomination of the President of the People’s Republic of China; it decides and can remove the Vice Premier, State Councilors, Ministers, Commission Directors, Auditor-General and Secretary-General candidates of the State Council according to the nomination of the premier of the State Council; according to the nomination of the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, it decides on and can remove candidates to be members of the Central Military Commission. It is stipulated in Article 67 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has the powers to decide, when the National People’s Congress is not in session, on the choice of Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Auditor-General or the Secretary-General of the State Council upon nomination by the Premier of the State Council, and decide, when the National People’s Congress is not in session, on the choice of other members of the Central Military Commission upon nomination by the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. 
 
It is also stipulated in Article 67 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has the powers to appoint or remove the Deputy Directors and members of the National Supervisory Committee at the recommendation of the Director of the National Supervisory Committee, the Vice-Presidents and Judges of the Supreme People’s Court, members of its Judicial Committee and the President of the Military Court at the recommendation of the President of the Supreme People’s Court, and the Deputy Procurators-General and procurators of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, members of its Procuratorial Committee and the Chief Procurator of the Military Procuratorate at the recommendation of the Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, to approve the appointment or removal of the chief procurators of the people’s procuratorates of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government and to decide on the appointment or recall of plenipotentiary representatives abroad. It is stipulated in Article 101 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China: “Local people’s congresses at their respective levels elect and have the power to recall governors and deputy governors, or mayors and deputy mayors, or heads and deputy heads of counties, districts, townships and towns. Local people’s congresses at or above the county level elect, and have the power to recall, chairmen of people’s supervisory commissions, presidents of people’s courts and chief procurators of people’s procuratorates at the corresponding level.”
 
2. Legislative power
 
It is stipulated in Article 58 of the current Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that: “The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee exert the legislative power of the state.” According to Article 62 and Article 63 of the Constitution, the National People’s Congress has the powers to enact and amend the Constitution, enact and amend basic laws governing criminal offences, civil affairs, the state organs and other matters. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has the powers to interpret the Constitution, supervise the enforcement of the Constitution, enact and amend all the laws except the laws that should be enacted by the National People’s Congress, annul the administrative laws, regulations, decisions and orders of the State Council that contradict the Constitution or law, and annul the local laws, regulations and resolutions enacted by organs of state power of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government that contradict the Constitution, laws and administrative laws and regulations. 
 
3. Right to supervise law enforcement
 
The standing committee of the people’s congress at each level supervises the law enforcement, supervision and justice work of the corresponding “people’s government, supervisory commission, people’s court and people’s procuratorate to ensure the laws and regulations are effectively implemented and the executive power, supervision power, judicial power and prosecutorial power are all correctly exerted.16 It is stipulated in Article 62 of the current Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that the National People’s Congress has the powers to supervise the enforcement of the Constitution and examine and approve the plan for national economic and social development, the report on its implementation, the state budget and the report on its implementation. It is stipulated in Article 67 of the Constitution that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has the powers to supervise the implementation of the Constitution and the work of the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the National Supervisory Commission, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. It is stipulated in Article 97 of the Constitution: “Local people’s congresses at all the levels shall ensure the observation and execution of the Constitution, laws and administrative laws and regulations within their administrative regions, and local people’s congresses at various levels shall pass and publish resolutions, and examine and decide local plans for economic construction, cultural construction and public utility construction.”
 
C. The people directly exercise political and democratic rights 
 
People can directly exercise their democratic rights through various channels beside exercising their appointment right, legislative right and supervision right through the people’s congresses. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out: “To expand the people’s democracy, improve the democratic system, enrich the democratic forms and widen the democratic channels, we should expand the citizens’ orderly political participation at various levels in various fields, and develop more extensive, more abundant and sounder people’s democracy.”17
 
1. Right to participate in legislation and freedom of expression
 
It is stipulated in Article 5 of the Legislation Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “Laws shall be made in order to embody the will of the people, enhance socialist democracy and guarantee that the people participate in legislative activities through various channels.” Public participation in legislation is mainly in the following three stages. 
 
The first stage is the law proposal stage. In this stage, symposiums, hearings, demonstration meetings, etc. are held extensively to receive advice and opinions. The second stage is the law drafting stage. In this stage, public opinions and professional advice are extensively received to explore how to delegate the law drafting to a third party. It is stipulated in Article 36 of the Constitution: “With regard to a legislative bill placed on the agenda of a meeting of the Standing Committee, the working offices of the Standing Committee, the Law Committee and the relevant special committee shall collect and sort out the deliberated opinions from all walks of life by holding symposiums, demonstration meetings, hearings, etc. … If there is a great difference in the opinions on the issues related to a bill or some interest relationship needs to be adjusted greatly, hearings should be held to receive advice and opinions from grassroots organizations, group representatives, different sectors, people’s organizations, experts, deputies to the National People’s Congress and some related parties. The results of the hearings should be reported to the Standing Committee.” It is stipulated in Article 67 that: “When administrative laws and regulations are drafted, advice and opinions should be extensively received from relevant organs, organizations, deputies to the National People’s Congress and the public. Symposiums, demonstration meetings, hearings, etc. can be held to receive their advice and opinions.” The third stage is the stage in which law drafts are published to further solicit advice and suggestions from all walks of life. It is stipulated in Article 37 of the Constitution that with regard to a legislative bill placed on the agenda of a Standing Committee meeting, the descriptions of the bill, the bill drafting, the relevant amendment, etc. shall be published for soliciting opinions. The time period for soliciting opinions is usually no less than 30 days. The advice and opinions gathered from the organs, organizations and citizens shall be reported to the public. It is stipulated in Article 67 that administrative law and regulation drafts shall be published to let the public know them. Besides, the state has established some grassroots legislative contact points so that the people from grass-roots organizations can directly participate in law drafting, legislative investigation, amending, demonstration, post-legislation assessment, etc. through the contact points.18 It is stipulated in Article 2 of the Administrative Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “If a citizen, a legal person or any other organization believes that an administrative organ or a worker of an administrative organ has infringed his or her lawful rights or interests, he or she has the right to file a lawsuit at the people’s court according to this law.”
 
2. Right to know, right to statement, right to defend oneself and right to supervision related to law enforcement 
 
As for the protection of the right to know the law enforcement, it is stipulated in Article 20 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty that in accordance with the provisions of laws, administrative regulations, or government rules, an administrative organ may, within the scope of its statutory authority, entrust in writing an organization that meets the conditions prescribed in Article 21 of this Law with the enforcement of administrative penalties, and the letter of entrustment shall specify the specific entrusted matter, competence, time limit and other matters of entrustment. The entrusting administrative organ and the entrusted organization shall announce the letter of entrustment to the public. It is stipulated in Article 24 that the governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government may, in light of their actual circumstances, decide to delegate the power of imposing administrative penalties of the departments of county-level people’s governments, which is urgently needed for grassroots administration, to township people’s governments or their sub-district offices that are able to exert this power effectively, and may organize the assessment of their exertion of this power on a regular basis; the decision shall be made public. It is stipulated in Article 39: “Information about an administrative penalty such as the enforcement organ, case-filing basis, enforcement procedure, and relief channels shall be made public.” It is stipulated in Article 44 that: “Before making a decision on an administrative penalty, an administrative organ shall notify the party concerned of the content of the administrative penalty to be imposed, and the facts, reasons, and basis thereof, as well as his rights to make a statement, defend himself, and request a hearing and other rights he enjoys according to law.” It is stipulated in Article 55 that when conducting an investigation or inspection, a law enforcement officer shall show the parties or persons concerned his law enforcement ID card. A party or a person concerned shall have the right to request law enforcement officers to produce law enforcement ID cards. Where a law enforcement officer fails to produce it, a party or a person concerned shall have the right to refuse to accept the investigation or inspection. It is stipulated in Article 18 of the Administrative Compulsion Law of the People’s Republic of China that an administrative organ shall show their law enforcement identity certificates, notify the party concerned to be present, notify the party concerned on the spot of the reasons and basis for taking the compulsory administrative measure and the rights of and remedies available to the party concerned according to law and hear the statements and arguments of the party concerned when it implements the compulsory administrative measure. 
 
As for the protection of the right to statement and right to argument related to law enforcement, citizens have the right to make statements and arguments against administrative penalties imposed by an administrative organ or a compulsory administrative measure implemented by an administrative organ. It is stipulated in Article 7 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty that: “A citizen, a legal person or any other organization shall be entitled to make statements or arguments against administrative punishment implemented by an administrative organ, be entitled to apply for administrative reconsideration or lodge an administrative lawsuit according to law, and be entitled to compensation for damage suffered from an administrative organ’s illegal administrative punishment.” It is stipulated in Article 45 that: “The party concerned has the right to make statements and arguments. The administrative organ must fully hear the opinions of the party concerned and re-check the facts, reasons and evidence given by the party concerned. If the facts, reasons or evidence given by the party concerned are valid, the administrative organ shall accept them. The administrative organ shall not punish the party concerned more severely due to the statements and arguments of the party concerned.” It is stipulated in Article 8 of the Administrative Compulsion Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “A citizen, a legal person or any other organization shall be entitled to make statements or arguments against administrative punishment implemented by an administrative organ, be entitled to apply for administrative reconsideration or lodge an administrative lawsuit according to the law, and be entitled to compensation for damage suffered from an administrative organ’s illegal administrative punishment. A citizen, a legal person or any other organization which has suffered damage from any illegal act of or expansion of extent of enforcement by the people’s court in the process of enforcement shall be entitled to compensation according to the law.” It is stipulated in Article 13 of the Administrative Compulsion Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “A citizen, a legal person or any other organization may give his opinion and suggestions to the organ that sets the administrative compulsion and the organ that implements the administrative compulsion. The organs concerned shall seriously consider the opinion and suggestions, check their validity and feed the opinions of the organs back to the citizen, legal person or organization in a proper way.” A hearing procedure has been specially established in the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty. It is stipulated in Article 63 that an administrative organ shall notify the party concerned of his right to request a hearing. Where the party requests a hearing, the administrative organ shall organize one before it decides to impose a more severe administrative penalty on the party concerned. The party concerned shall not bear the expenses for the hearing held by an administrative organ.
 
As for the protection of the right to supervise law enforcement, it is stipulated in Article 70 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty that: “Administrative organs shall accept social supervision when enforcing administrative penalties. A citizen, legal person or another organization shall have the right to file an appeal or accusation against an administrative penalty enforced by an administrative organ, and the administrative organ shall carefully examine the appeal or accusation, and take the initiative to make corrections upon discovery of any error.” The people may actively participate in the supervision work of the people’s congresses by participating in symposiums of deputies to the people’s congresses, grassroots symposiums, questionnaire surveys, online investigations, etc..19
 
3. Right to know and right to participate in judicial activities 
 
As for the protection of the right to know judicial activities, General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that we should “make trials transparent, procuratorial work transparent, policing transparent and prison affairs transparent, and establish a unified online open search system of effective legal documents.”20 It is stipulated in Article 11 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “Cases in the People’s Courts shall be heard in public, unless otherwise provided by this Law.” It is stipulated in Article 202 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “Cases in the People’s Courts shall be heard in public, unless otherwise provided by this Law.” It is stipulated in Article 54 of the Administrative Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “The people’s courts shall hear administrative cases in public, unless the cases are related to the state secrets or personal privacy or otherwise provided by law.” It is stipulated in Article 80 that: “The people’s courts shall openly pronounce the judgments of cases that have been heard in public or not in public.” It is stipulated in Article 65 that: “The people’s courts shall publish legally effective judgments and rulings so that the public can find and read them, excluding contents related to state secrets, business secrets or personal privacy.” It is stipulated in Article 137 of the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “The people’s courts shall openly hear cases, unless the cases are related to state secrets or personal privacy or otherwise provided according to law.” It is stipulated in Article 159: “The public can find and read legally effective judgments and rulings, excluding contents related to state secrets, business secrets or personal privacy.” 
 
In the protection aspect of the right to participate in judicial activities, the people’s assessor system has been established to protect citizens’ right to participate in adjudication activities in China. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that we should “improve the people’s assessor system and expand the adjudication participation extent.”21 It is stipulated in Article 2 of the People’s Assessor Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “Citizens have the right and obligation to be people’s assessors according to law.” It is stipulated in Article 21 that: “If people’s assessorsparticipate in a three-person collegiate bench and hear a case, they shall independently give their opinions on fact finding and law application and independently exert their right to vote.” It is stipulated in Article 22: “If people’s assessors participate in a 7-person collegiate bench and hear a case, they shall independently give their opinions on fact finding and jointly exercise their right to vote with judges; they may give their opinions on law application, but may not participate in voting.”
 
II. Democratic Rights Related to Policy Processes 
 
A policy process usually refers to a dynamic policy working process in which a policy is made, implemented, evaluated, regulated, supervised, terminated, etc..22
 
In a policy process, all efforts are made to solve policy problems. The main purpose of promoting democracy in the policy process is to ensure the equity of the policy through extensive participation of the people in the policy process. The three most essential process links of the policy process are policy making, policy implementation and policy evaluation.23 To promote democracy in the policy process, the democratic rights the people should enjoy in all the policy links, such as the right to know, the right to participate, and the right to supervise, shall be guaranteed. 
 
A. Protection of the right to know, the right to participation, the right to freedom of expression and the right to supervision in policy making links 
 
Policy making is the initial stage of a policy process. The general public participates in decision-making through multiple channels and forms. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that: “We should build a working mechanism in which public opinions are extensively solicited before an important decision is made, deliberate important issues closely related to the vital interests of the people or issues that the public strongly hope to solve according to the law and the procedure, publicize what needs to be publicized, hear what needs to be heard, never carry out black-box operations and never make decisions subjectively.”24 Some democratic rights such as the right to know decision-making, the proposal right, the right to participate, the right to express, the right to negotiation and the right to supervision have been explicitly specified in the Interim Regulations for Important Administrative Decision-Making Procedures, which started to be implemented in September 2019. 
 
In the policy process initiation link, people enjoy the right to proposal, deputies to the people’s congresses and the CPPCC members offer their proposals by submitting suggestions and bills, citizens, legal persons and other organizations submit their written suggestions, and the decision-making organ starts the decision-making procedure.25
 
In the decision research and making link, the people enjoy the right to participate in the decision-making. It is stipulated in Article 6 of the Interim Regulations for Important Administrative Decision-Making Procedures that: “To make important administrative decisions, we should abide by the democratic decision-making principles, fully hear opinions from all the relevant parties and ensure that the people will participate in the decision-making through multiple channels and forms.”
 
The forms in which the people participate in administrative decision-making are the public participation form and the expert argumentation form. The public participates in important administrative decision-making mainly in the following three ways: (1) Receive opinions from the public. The methods of receiving opinions from the public include symposiums, hearings, visits, seeking written opinions, soliciting public opinions, questionnaire surveys and opinion polls. If decision-making is related to the interests of some specific groups, the decision-making undertaker shall communicate and negotiate with the related people’s organizations, social organizations and representatives of the public and fully receive opinions and suggestions from the related groups. (2) Openly solicit opinions from society. The approaches to solicit opinions from society are government websites and new media accounts, newspapers, periodicals, radio broadcasts, television, etc. The time period should not be less than 30 days. (3) Hearings. If decision-making is directly related to the vital interests of citizens, legal persons or any other organizations or there is a great difference between opinions about decision-making, hearings may be held. The method of selecting the hearing participants should be published in advance, and the selection should be open and fair to ensure that representatives of all the relevant parties will participate in the hearings. In a hearing, the participants voice their opinions, ask questions, examine evidence and debate points. Expert argumentation is conducted for professional decision-making or decision-making with a very strong technical nature. The decision-making undertaker shall make arrangements for experts and professional organizations to demonstrate the necessity, feasibility and scientific nature of the decision-making. The methods of realizing the expert argumentation include expert argumentation meetings, consultation in writing, and entrusted consultation and argumentation. 
 
In the decision draft publicity link, the people enjoy the right to know. It is stipulated in Article 32 of the Interim Regulations for Important Administrative Decision-making Procedures that: “Decision-making organs shall timely publish important administrative decisions through bulletins and websites of the people’s government at the corresponding level, newspapers issued within the administrative region, etc.. As for important administrative decisions that the general public extensively cares about, important administrative decisions involving much professional knowledge or important decisions with a strong technical nature, the adoption of the public opinions and expert argumentation opinions shall be published, and they shall be publicized and interpreted through press conferences, interviews, etc..”
 
B. Protection of citizens’ right to know, right to supervision and right to appeal in policy implementation links
 
Policy implementation is the process in which the policy scheme is realized, and the policy goals are achieved. Policy implementation links mainly involve citizens’ right to know, right to supervision and right to appeal related to the policy implementation.
 
As for the protection of the right to know related to policy implementation, it is stipulated in Article 5 of the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information that: “When disclosing government information, administrative agencies should observe the principles of justice, fairness, and convenience to the people, normally keep government information open and exceptionally keep it secret.” It is stipulated in Article 6 that: “Administrative agencies should disclose government information promptly and accurately.” The regulations specify the matters related to the publicizing of information voluntarily and the information publicized on demand. The matters that should be voluntarily disclosed include administrative laws, regulations, rules, normative documents, functions of organs, organization structures, office addresses, office hours, names and contact information of responsible persons, national economy and social development planning, special planning, regional planning and policies related to it, statistical information on the national economy and social development, the bases, conditions, procedures and results of obtaining administrative permits and other foreign administration services, the bases, conditions and procedures for implementation of administrative penalty and administrative compulsion, administrative penalty decisions believed by administrative organs to have certain social influences, financial budget and actual budget information, administrative and institutional charges and their bases and standards, catalogues, standards and actual situations of centralized procurement items of governments, approval and implementation of important construction projects, policies, measures and implementation of poverty alleviation, education, healthcare, social security, employment promotion, etc., prepared emergency measures, pre-warning information and actual situations of sudden public events, supervision and inspection of environmental protection, public health, safety production, food, drug and product quality, positions, quotas, examination registration conditions, etc. of civil servant recruitment examinations and the lists of the examinees who have been recruited. 
 
As for the protection of the right to supervise policy implementation, a multi-level democratic supervision network has been built in China. First, the democratic parties and public figures without party affiliation participate in the supervision and inspection of the deployment, execution and implementation of the key policies and decisions of the party and state. They are delegated by CPC committees to conduct democratic supervision by offering opinions, comments and suggestions in the supervision of relevant significant issues. Second, citizens, legal persons or other organizations supervise how state organs and their staff fulfill their duties, and report failure of their supervision objects to work according to the law, and their supervision objects’ violations of relevant provisions such as impartial power exertion, clean governance and moral integrity or duty-related crimes to supervisory organs. It is stipulated in Article 41 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions regarding any state organ or functionary. Citizens have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints or charges against, or exposures of, any state organ or functionary for violation of law or dereliction of duty; but fabrication or distortion of facts for purposes of libel or false incrimination is prohibited. 
 
The state organ concerned must, in a responsible manner and by ascertaining the facts, deal with the complaints, charges or exposures made by citizens. No one may suppress such complaints, charges and exposures or retaliate against the citizens making them.” It is stipulated in Article 35 of the Supervision Law of the People’s Republic of China: “Supervision organs shall accept reports about cases and handle them according to relevant provisions. If supervision organs should not handle accepted cases, the supervision organs shall transfer the cases to the competent authorities.” It is stipulated in Article 2 of the Administrative Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China that citizens, legal persons or other organizations have the right to lodge complaints at the people’s courts if they believe that administrative acts of administrative organs or their staff have violated their lawful rights and interests. Third, the media timely expose public power abuse, dereliction, malpractice, etc., to give full play to the supervision role of public opinion.26
 
In the protection aspect of the right to appeal in policy implementation, a citizen is entitled to apply for administrative reconsideration or lodge an administrative lawsuit according to law. It is stipulated in the Administrative Reconsideration Law of the People’s Republic of China that a citizen, a legal person or any other organization may apply for administrative reconsideration to an administrative organ if he thinks that some specific administrative act has violated his lawful rights and interests. The administrative reconsideration organ that has received the application shall examine the application and inform the applicant of whether it will accept and hear the case within five days after it receives the application. The Chinese Letters and Visits System is an important channel through which the people supervise policy implementation. It is stipulated in the Regulations on Letters and Visits that the people’s governments and the work departments of the people’s governments at the county level or above shall seriously receive letters and visitors, listen to opinions, suggestions and requests of the public and accept their supervision. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out: “The CPC committees, governments and leaders at all the levels shall regard receiving letters and visitors as an important task to understand the conditions of the people, collect the wisdom of the people, maintain the interests of the people and attract the support of the people. They shall spare no effort to help the people overcome difficulties and solve problems.”27
 
C. Protection of citizens’ right to participation, right to freedom of expression and right to supervision in policy evaluation links
 
Policy evaluation is the evaluation of the policy implementation effect. It is required to receive opinions of the public about enacted policies and make arrangements for the people’s congress members, the CPPCC members, people’s organizations, grassroots organizations, social organizations, experts, etc., to participate in the evaluation.28 In the policy evaluation link, the public’s right to participate in the evaluation, right to express their opinions on the evaluation and right to supervise the evaluation are mainly involved. It is stipulated in Article 35 of the Interim Regulations for Important Administrative decision-making Procedures: “If a citizen, a legal person or any other organization believes that some important decision and its implementation are problematic, the citizen, legal person or other organization can give his opinions and suggestions to the decision-making organ or the decision implementation organization through letters, telephone, emails, etc.” It is stipulated in Article 36 of the Interim Regulations for Important Administrative Decision-making Procedures that if some important administrative decision-making is criticized much, the decision-making organization can evaluate the decision after the decision is made. When the decision is evaluated after it is made, it is important to make arrangements for the people’s 
congress members, the CPPCC members, people’s organizations, grassroots organizations, social organizations, experts, etc., to participate in the evaluation. The decision evaluation results shall be regarded as important bases for regulation of the important administrative decision. 
 
III. Democratic Rights Involved in Urban and Rural Community Governance Processes 
 
Urban and rural communities are basic social governance units.29 For the purpose of implementing autonomy of villagers or residents, the core of promoting democracy in the urban and rural community governance process is to implement self-management of urban and rural residents. Under the leadership of the grassroots party organizations, villagers and residents respectively establish their village committees and neighborhood committees and enjoy their democratic rights according to law and manage grassroots public affairs and programs for public interests according to law.30 When General Secretary Xi Jinping talked about democratic governance of rural communities, he pointed out: “to expand grassroots democracy in rural areas and ensure that the farmers can directly enjoy their democratic rights, we should improve the democratic mechanism consisting of democratic election, democratic decision-making, democratic administration and democratic supervision at the grassroots level in rural areas.”31
 
The democratic governance process of urban and rural communities mainly consists of three links — democratic election, democratic decision-making and democratic administration. It involves urban and rural community residents’ right to elect, right to recall, right to participate in decision-making, right to adopt decisions, right to know administration and right to supervise administration. Besides, in urban communities managed by property management companies, the owners jointly exercise their right to property management with property management companies through general meetings of owners and owner committees elected at general meetings of owners. 
 
A. Democratic election of communities and protection of villagers’ (residents’) right to elect and right to recall 
 
In urban communities, neighborhood committees are responsible for the maintenance of the lawful rights and interests of the residents. They shall manage public affairs, promote public welfare, mediate disputes among the residents and help maintain public security in their urban communities. They shall help governments to do the work related to the interests of the residents, inform governments of the comments and requirements of the residents, and offer the governments their proposals. It is stipulated in Article 2 of the Organic Law of the Urban Residential Committees of the People’s Republic of China: “An urban residential committee shall be a mass organization for self-government at the grassroots level, in which the residents manage their own affairs, educate themselves, and serve their own needs.”
 
Democratic elections shall be held in urban and rural communities. Villagers (residents) elect the members (residents) of village committees and the elections shall be held synchronously with elections of people’s congresses at the county and township levels.32
 
The corresponding urban residents elect urban residential committees. It is stipulated in Article 8 of the Organic Law of the Urban Residential Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “The chairman, vice-chairman (vice-chairmen) and members of a residential committee shall be elected by all the residents of a residential area who have the right to elect or by the representatives from all the households; on the basis of the opinions of the residents, they may also be elected by the elected representatives of residential groups numbering 2-3 from each. The term of office of the residential committee shall be five years, and its members may continue to hold office when reelected. Any resident of a residential area who has reached the age of 18 shall have the right to elect and stand for election, regardless of his ethnic status, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status and length of residence, with the exception of persons who have been deprived of political rights in accordance with the law.” It is stipulated in Article 10 of the Organic Law of the Urban Residential Committees of the People’s Republic of China: “The residential assembly shall have the power to recall members of the residential committee and hold a by-election.” 
 
In rural communities, village committees shall manage public affairs, promote public welfare, mediate disputes among the villagers and help maintain public security in the village. They should inform residents of relevant government comments and requirements and offer the government their proposals. Village committees manage the land owned by collectives of villagers and other collective property of the villagers according to law, show villagers how to reasonably use natural resources, and protect and improve the ecological environment. It is stipulated in Article 2 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “The village committee is the primary mass organization of self-government, in which the villagers manage their own affairs, educate themselves and serve their own needs and in which elections are conducted, decisions adopted, administration maintained and supervision conducted by democratic means.” Village committees shall be elected by the corresponding villagers. It is stipulated in Article 11 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “The chairman, vice-chairman (vice-chairmen) and members of a village committee shall be elected directly by the villagers. No organization or individual may designate, appoint or replace any member of a village committee. The term of office for a village committee is five years; a new committee shall be elected at the expiration of the five-year term without delay. Members of a village committee may continue to hold office when reelected. It is stipulated in Article 12 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “Election of a village committee shall be presided over by a villagers’ electoral committee. A villagers’ electoral committee consists of a chairman and members and they shall be elected by a village assembly, a villager representatives’ assembly or a villager groups’ assembly.”
 
Villagers’ right to elect, right to nominate and right to recall are all explicitly specified in the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China. As for the right to elect, it is stipulated in Article 13 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “Any villager who has reached the age of 18 shall have the right to elect and stand for election, regardless of his ethnic status, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status and length of residence, with the exception of persons who have been deprived of political rights in accordance with law.” As for the right to nominate, it is stipulated in Article 15 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “For the election of a village committee, the villagers who have the right to elect in the village shall nominate candidates directly.” The election procedure and requirements are specified in the article. The election procedure and requirements are that the number of candidates shall be greater than the number of persons to be elected, the electoral committee of villagers shall make arrangements for candidates to meet villagers, the candidates shall introduce their ideas on how to fulfill their duties and ask questions of the villagers, the election of a village committee shall be valid if more than half of the villagers who have the right to elect cast their votes; a candidate shall be elected only if he wins more than half of the votes cast by the villagers. The election shall be held by secret ballot and open vote-counting; the outcome of the election shall be announced on the spot. During an election, booths shall be installed for voters to write their ballots in private. As for the right to recall, it is stipulated in Article 16 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “A group of at least one-fifth of the villagers who have the right to elect in the village or a group of at least one-third of the villagers of the village may jointly propose the removal from office of members of the village committee. In the proposal, the reasons for the removal shall be stated. The member of the village committee proposed to be removed from office shall have the right to present a statement in his own defense. The village committee shall convene a village assembly without delay, at which the proposal for the removal shall be voted on. The removal from office of a member of the village committee shall be adopted by a simple majority vote of the villagers who have the right to elect.”
 
B. Democratic decision-making of communities and protection of villagers’ (residents’) right to participation and right to decision-making
 
Democratic decision-making is carried out in urban and rural communities. Villagers or residents shall make decisions on public affairs, public welfare, etc. of communities through villagers’ (residents) assemblies or villager (resident) representatives’ assemblies.33
 
In urban communities, urban residential committees shall be accountable and report their work to residents’ assemblies. As for important problems related to interests of all the residents, residential committees shall submit them to residents’ assemblies for discussion and decision-making. It is stipulated in Article 9 of the Organic Law of the Urban Residential Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “A residential assembly shall consist of residents at the age of 18 or above. All residents at the age of 18 or above or representatives from all the families can participate in their residential assembly, or each residential group elects 2 or 3 representatives and let them participate in their residential assembly. A residential assembly shall not be held unless more than half of all the residents at the age of 18 or above, representatives of all the families or representatives from all the residential groups participate in the residential assembly.” It is stipulated in Article 9 of the Organic Law of the Urban Residential Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “A residential assembly shall be convened and presided over by a residential committee. If at least one-fifth of the villagers whose are 18 or above, at least one-fifth of the households or at least one-third of the residential groups jointly propose that a residential assembly should be held, a residential assembly should be held.”
 
In rural communities, village committees shall be accountable and report their work to villagers’ assemblies. It is stipulated in Article 21 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “A village assembly shall consist of villagers of a village at the age of 18 or above. If at least one-tenth of the villagers or at least one-third of the residents representatives jointly propose that a village assembly should be held, a village assembly should be held. Villagers shall be informed that a village assembly will be convened ten days before it is convened.” It is stipulated in Article 22 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “The village assembly shall be convened with a simple majority participation of the villagers at or above the age of 18 or with the participation of the representatives from at least two-thirds of the households in the village, and every decision shall be adopted by a simple majority vote of the villagers present.” The matters related tointerests of villagers that can be handled only after they are discussed and decided include: the people who enjoy subsidies for loss of working time and the subsidy standards, use of earnings from the collective economy of the village, plans for establishment, financing and remuneration of the public welfare undertakings for the village, construction contracting plans, plans for land contracting and operation, plans for the establishment and contracting of collective economy projects of the village, plans for use of homesteads, plans for use and allocation of land requisition compensation, handling the collective property of the village through borrowing, lease or other modes, and other matters related to interests of the villagers that are believed by a village assembly to be discussed and decided by a village assembly. 
 
C. Democratic management of communities and protection of villagers’ (residents’) right to make rules, right to know rules, right to supervise rules and right to comment 
 
To implement democratic administration in urban and rural communities, villagers or residents shall discuss and formulate their villagers’ or residents’ autonomy charters, village rules or joint pledges of residents, non-governmental agreements, etc.; villagers or residents shall negotiate and discuss in multiple forms, elect their village affairs or residence affairs supervision committees and let the supervision committees supervise village or residence affairs, keep the villager or residents informed of the village or residence affairs and monitor implementation of the village or residence affairs systems.34
 
In the administration decision-making aspect of residential committees and village committees, it is stipulated in Article 11 of the Organic Law of the Urban Residential Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “In making decisions, a residential committee shall apply the principle whereby the minority is subordinate to the majority. In its work, a residential committee shall adopt a democratic approach and shall not resort to coercion or orders.” It is stipulated in Article 29 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “A village committee shall implement the democratic decision-making mechanism in which the minority is subordinate to the majority and an open and transparent working principle.”
 
In the protection aspect of urban and rural residents’ right to decide rules, it is stipulated in Article 11 of the Organic Law of the Urban Residential Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “Joint pledges of the residents shall be drawn up by the residential assembly through discussion, the implementation of the joint pledges shall be supervised by the residential committee. The residents shall observe the decisions of the residential assembly and the joint pledges of the residents.” Meanwhile, it is stipulated in Article 27 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “A village assembly can formulate and modify the villagers’ autonomy charter, village rules and non-government agreements of the village.” In the meantime, it is stipulated in Article 16 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “The amount of money that a residential committee needs to improve the local public welfare shall be discussed and decided by the corresponding residential assembly. It can be raised from the residents according to the principle of voluntariness. It can also be raised from the organizations that will benefit from improvement of the local public welfare if they will donate some money.” It is stipulated in Article 23 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that the village assembly “has the power to annul or modify both the improper decisions of the village committee and improper decisions of the villager representatives’ assembly.” 
 
In the protection aspect of villagers’ right to know, it is stipulated in Article 30 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “The village committee shall make the village affairs transparent,” it shall “ensure authenticity of what it has published and it shall answer all the questions asked by the villagers.” 
 
In the protection aspect of villagers’ right to supervise, it is stipulated in Article 32 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that a village shall establish a village affairs supervision organization, let the organization be in charge of the democratic wealth management of the villagers, supervise transparency and implementation of the village affairs management system, etc., members of the organization shall be elected from the villagers by the village assembly or the villager representatives’ assembly and the members shall have certain finance, accounting and management knowledge. It is stipulated in Article 16 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that regarding the amount of money raised to improve the local public welfare by a residential committee, “its income and expenditure account shall be timely published and it shall be supervised by the villagers.” It is specified in the Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Strengthening and Improving Urban and Rural Community Governance: “Resident affairs supervision committees shall be established and improved to make resident affairs transparent and promote democratic administration.”35
 
In the protection aspect of villagers’ right to deliberation and right to comment, it is stipulated in Article 23 of the Organic Law of the Village Committees of the People’s Republic of China that: “The villagers shall deliberate the annual work report of the village committee and comment on the work of the village committee members.” It is stipulated in Article 33 that: “Village committee members and contract-based employees who are given subsidies for loss of working time by villagers or a collective of villagers shall be democratically appraised by the village committee or the village assembly. The democratic appraisal shall be carried out at least once a year. It shall be presided over by the village affairs supervision organization. If a village committee member has been considered incompetent for two consecutive times in the democratic appraisal, the member shall be removed from office.”
 
D. Community property management and protection of owners’ right to democratic management
 
In the urban community property management area, owners jointly exercise their right to property management through the general meeting of owners and the owner committee elected by the general meeting of owners. 
 
The democratic rights that owners should enjoy in property management are stipulated in the Property Management Regulations that were revised for the third time in 2018. The rights include the right to propose the convening of a general meeting of owners and offer suggestions about some matters related to property management; the right to propose to enact and modify some management stipulations and the discussion rules of the general meeting of owners; the right to participate in the general meeting of owners and vote; the right to elect members of the owner committee and be elected; the right to supervise the work of the owner committee; the right to supervise the property service contract fulfillment of the property service provider; the right to know and supervise use of the common property part, the common utilities and equipment, and the relevant venues; the right to supervise the management and use of the special maintenance funds for both the common property part and the common utilities and equipment; the other rights specified by the laws and regulations. 
 
As for the general meeting of owners, it is stipulated in Article 8 of the Property Management Regulations that: “A general meeting of owners consists of all the owners of the property management area. It shall represent and maintain the lawful rights and interests of all the owners of the property management area in the property management activities.” Article 12 stipulates: “The general meeting of owners can be held in either a group discussion form or a written opinion soliciting form. However, a general meeting of owners shall be participated in by the owners who own more than half of the total floor area of the property management area and are more than half of the total owners. It is stipulated in Article 13 that: “The general meeting of owners is divided into the periodic general meeting of owners and a temporary general meeting of owners. The periodic meeting shall be held according to the rules made by the general meeting of owners. If more than 20 percent of the owners propose to convene a general meeting of owners, the owners’ committee shall hold a temporary general meeting of owners.” 
 
More specific provisions on matters decided jointly by owners and the decision-making methods were specified in the Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China which was adopted in 2020. It is stipulated in Article 278 of the Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China that the matters that should be jointly decided by owners include formulation and modification of the affairs discussion rules of the general meeting of owners, formulation and modification of the management rules and stipulations, electing or replacing the owner committee members, recruiting and dismissing the property service provider or other management personnel, use of the maintenance funds for buildings and their ancillary facilities, raising the maintenance funds for buildings and their ancillary facilities, changing and rebuilding buildings and their ancillary facilities, changing the use of the common part or using the common part for business operation, and other important matters related to the right to sharing and joint management. The matters to be jointly decided by owners should be voted on by owners whose floor area is more than two-thirds of the total floor area of all the owners and who are more than two-thirds of all the owners. Raising the maintenance funds for buildings and their ancillary facilities, changing and rebuilding buildings and their ancillary facilities, changing the use of the common part or using the common part for business operation shall be voted for by owners whose floor area is more than threefourths of the total floor area of all the owners and who are more than three-fourths of all the owners. Other matters should be voted on by owners whose floor area is more than half of the total floor area of all the owners and who are more than three-fourths of all the owners. It is stipulated in Article 943 of the Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China that: “The property service provider shall periodically publish the service items, persons in charge of the items, quality requirements, pay items, charging standards, performance progresses, use of the maintenance funds, and operation and earnings of the common part of owners, and report them to both the general meeting of owners and the owner committee.” 
 
IV. Democratic Rights Related to the Management Processes of Enterprises And Public Institutions 
 
Enterprises are usually economic entities aiming to profit by exchanging products or services for revenues. Pubic institutions are usually institutions established by the state to benefit the public. The state usually subsidizes public institutions. To promote democracy in the management processes of enterprises and public institutions help employees play active roles in the important matters of enterprises and public institutions, such as important decision-making and important matters related to vital interests of employees to protect the democratic rights of employees such as the right to know, the right to participation, the right to freedom of expression, the right to negotiation, the right to consent and the right to supervision. According to the economic theory of democracy, economic democracy is a supplement to political democracy. Employees affected by the decisions of enterprise operators are entitled to maintain their own interests and achieve better social democracy by properly participating in relevant decision-making. According to the corporate social responsibility theory, an enterprise’s operation behaviors have a social attribute. An enterprise’s decisions affect the enterprise, and also have social impact on its employees, major creditors, providers, etc.. Therefore, maximizing the interests of stockholders should not be the only goal of an enterprise. Enterprises should also bear some necessary social responsibilities. When an enterprise makes a decision, it should consider the interests of its stakeholders, such as its employees, creditors, providers and consumers. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that: “We should establish and improve a democratic management system and a corporate affairs transparency system for enterprises and public institutions taking the employees’ congress as the basic form, make arrangements for employees to carry out the democratic election, democratic decision-making, democratic administration and democratic supervision so that the employees’ right to know, right to participation, right to freedom of expression and right to supervision can be more fully and more effectively protected.”36
 
Some specific provisions have been specified in some Chinese laws, such as the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Company Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China. Twenty-two local regulations have been consecutively enacted for the democratic management of enterprises and public institutions in 18 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities). It is stipulated in Article 16 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that: “The state-owned enterprises shall promote democratic management according to law through the form of the employees’ congress and other forms.” It is stipulated in Article 17 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China that: “Collective economic organizations practice democratic management and, in accordance with law, elect or remove their managerial personnel and decide on major issues concerning operation and management.” It is stipulated in Article 8 of the Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China: “Workers shall, according to legal provisions and through workers’ congresses, workers’ representatives or other channels, participate in democratic management or carry out negotiation on an equal footing with their employers concerning the protection of their own lawful rights and interests.” It is stipulated in Article 35 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “The representative assembly of the workers of an enterprise owned by the whole people shall be the primary structure through which the enterprise executes democratic management as it is the body through which the workers may exercise their rights to democratic management in accordance with the provisions of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Industrial Enterprises Owned by the Whole People. The trade union committee of an enterprise owned by the whole people shall be the working body of the workers representative assembly and shall be responsible for the daily affairs of the representative assembly and for inspecting and supervising the implementation of resolutions of the representative assembly.” It is stipulated in Article 6 the: “The trade union of an organization shall organize its workers to participate in democratic decision-making,democratic management and democratic supervision of the organization pursuant to the provisions of the law through the representative assembly of the workers.” It is stipulated in Article 36 that: “The trade union committee of a collectively owned enterprise shall support and organize workers’ participation in democratic management and democratic supervision and shall protect the rights of workers to elect and dismiss administrative personnel and to determine important issues relating to operational management.” It is stipulated in Article 37 that the trade union committees of other enterprises or public institutions, excluding the above-mentioned enterprises and public institutions, shall participate in the democratic management of the enterprises or public institutions in some forms suitable to themselves. It is stipulated in Article 52 that: “Any behaviors that interfere with the exercise of the democratic rights of the trade union committee according to law in the representative assembly form of the workers or any other form shall be corrected and handled according to law. It is stipulated in Article 18 of the Company Law of the People’s Republic of China: “A company shall implement democratic management through the employees’ representative congress or other channels in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and relevant laws.”
 
The management process of an enterprise or a public institution includes many links, such as decision-making, planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and control. The democratic management of enterprises and public institutions requires that these links should protect the democratic rights of the workers through the representative assembly of the workers and the trade union. Enterprises and public institutions shall universally establish their democratic management systems according to the constitution, laws and relevant provisions, taking the representative assembly of the workers as the basic form and taking the transparent affairs system, the worker director system and the worker supervisor system as the main contents.37
 
A. Protection of workers’ right to know and right to freedom of expression in the decision-making and plan links
 
The democratic management in the decision-making and plan links involves the protection of the workers’ right to know and right to freedom of expression. It is stipulated in Article 18 of the Company Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “When a company discusses and decides on restructuring and major issues concerning its business operation or formulates major rules, regulations and policies, it shall solicit opinions from the labor union of the company, as well as opinions and suggestions from its employees through the employees’ representative congress or other channels.” It is stipulated in Article 38 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “The views of trade unions shall be listened to when enterprises or public institutions discuss important issues on operating management and development.” For the purpose of protecting workers’ right to participate in the decision-making and plan of the enterprise, a worker director system has been established in China. It is stipulated in the Company Law of the People’s Republic of China that the members of the board of supervisors of a limited liability company, a wholly state-owned company or a company limited jointly established by two or more state-owned enterprises or two or more other state-owned investors should or may include the worker representatives of the corporate worker representative board of directors, and the worker representatives shall be democratically elected by the workers of the companies through the representative assembly of the workers and the general meeting of the workers or any other form. 
 
B. Protection of the workers’ right to know, right to negotiation and right to consent in the organizing and commanding links
 
The democratic management in the organizing and commanding links involves the workers’ right to know, right to negotiation and right to consent. It is stipulated in Article 4 of the Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “When formulating or modifying the rules and regulations, or making decisions on important matters, which have a direct bearing on the immediate interests of workers, such as labor remuneration, working hours, rest and vacation, occupational safety and health, insurance and welfare, training, labor discipline and labor quota control, the employing unit shall, after discussion by the conference of workers or all the workers, put forward plans and suggestions and make decisions after consulting with the trade union or the representatives of the workers on an equal footing.” It is stipulated in Article 33 of the Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China and Article 51 of the Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China: “The employees of an enterprise as one party and the employing unit as the another may, through negotiation on an equal basis, conclude a collective contract on matters relating to labor remuneration, working hours, rest and vocation, occupational safety and health, insurance, welfare benefits, etc.. The draft collective contract shall be submitted to the worker’s congress or to all the employees for discussion and adoption.” It is stipulated in Article 20 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China: “A trade union shall assist and provide guidance to workers signing labor contracts with the enterprise or public institution’s administrative authority. A trade union may represent workers in signing a collective contract with an enterprise or public institution’s administrative authority. The draft of a collective contract shall be submitted to a meeting of employee representatives or the complete body of employees for discussion and adoption.”
 
It is stipulated in Article 38 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “Trade union representatives shall participate in meetings convened by an enterprise owned by the whole people to discuss matters, such as wages, welfare, production safety, labor protection and labor insurance, which involve the personal rights and interests of workers.” It is stipulated in Article 18 of the Company Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “The labor union of the company shall enter into collective contracts on behalf of the employees with the company with respect to such matters as labor remuneration, working hours, welfare, insurance and labor safety and health of the employees according to the law.” 
 
C. Protection of the workers’ right to freedom of expression and right to supervision in the coordinating and control links
 
The democratic management in the coordinating and control links involves the workers’ right to freedom of expression and right to supervision. It is stipulated in Article 19 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “If an enterprise or public institution violates the worker representative assembly system or other democratic management systems, the trade union shall have the right to demand that the employing unit put it right so that the right of the workers to democratic management will be protected.” It is stipulated in Article 21 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “If an enterprise or public institution punishes a worker and the trade union considers it improper, the trade union shall have the right to put forward its opinions. Where an enterprise intends to revoke a labor contract unilaterally, it shall notify the trade union of the reasons in advance. If the trade union thinks that the employing unit violates the provisions of laws or administrative regulations or the labor contracts and requests the enterprise to re-investigate it, the enterprise shall carefully discuss the opinions of the trade union and inform the trade union of their discussion results in writing.” It is stipulated in Article 22 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that if an enterprise or public institution violates the provisions of labor laws or administrative regulations, reduces the salaries of its workers, does not provide labor safety and health conditions, extend working hours at will, violates special rights and interests of women workers and underage workers or severely violates other labor rights of the workers, the trade union shall negotiate with the employing unit and demand that the employing unit take measures and put it right. It is stipulated in Article 23 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “A trade union shall, pursuant to state regulations, have the right to put forward views on work conditions and safety and hygiene facilities for a newly constructed or expanded enterprise or one undergoing technological transformation, and the trade union shall supervise the design, construction and production carried out concurrently with the main project.” It is stipulated in Article 24 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “If a trade union discovers that an enterprise’s administrative authority is breaking the rules and regulations by directing or forcing workers to undertake risks or if distinct and significant hidden dangers or occupational hazards are discovered during the production process, the trade union shall have the right to suggest a resolution. On discovering a situation where the personal safety of workers is jeopardized, a trade union shall have the right to suggest to the enterprise’s administrative authority that the workers abandon the dangerous site, and the said administrative authority must decide promptly on measures to resolve the matter.” It is stipulated in Article 25 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “A trade union may appoint a representative to investigate problems in relation to infringements of the legal rights and interests of workers of the said enterprise or public institution within which it has been established, and the said unit shall be obliged to provide the necessary assistance.” It is stipulated in Article 26 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “A trade union must participate in investigations into an accident resulting in a fatality or injury or other problems seriously endangering the health of workers. It may suggest resolutions to the relevant authorities, as well as have the right to require the pursuit of the liability of the administrative leaders directly responsible and other responsible parties.” It is stipulated in Article 27 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “If an enterprise is subject to some work suspension or demotivation incident, the trade union shall, in conjunction with the enterprise’s administrative authority or other relevant authorities, negotiate a resolution of demands raised by the workers which are found to be reasonable and able to be resolved.” It is stipulated in Article 28 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “A trade union shall participate in mediation work conducted in relation to labor disputes within its enterprise. Equivalent level trade union representatives shall participate in district labor dispute arbitration organizations.” It is stipulated in Article 80 of the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China that: “A labor dispute mediation committee can be established in an employing unit. The labor dispute mediation committee shall consist of representatives of the workers, representatives of the employing unit and representatives of the trade union. One of the representatives of the trade union shall act as the chairman of the committee.” For the purpose of protecting the workers’ right to freedom of expression about the corporate operation process and the right to supervise the corporate operation process, a worker supervisor system has been established in China. It is stipulated in the Company Law of the People’s Republic of China that the members of the board of supervisors of a limited liability company, a wholly state-owned company or a company limited jointly established by two or more state-owned enterprises or two or more other state-owned investors should include the stockholder representatives and an appropriate proportion of corporate worker representatives, and the proportion of the corporate worker representatives shall not be lower than one third. The worker representatives of the board of supervisors are democratically elected by the corporate workers at the representative assembly of the workers, at the general meeting of the workers or in other forms. 
 
D. Transparent organization affairs systems and protection of the workers’ right to know
 
To protect workers’ right to know and right to supervision in the enterprise management process, Chinese enterprises have extensively established a transparent organizational affairs system for enterprises in China. The transparent organizational affairs system involves all the links of enterprise management. In the decision-making and plan links, it requires that important decisions of enterprises should be published. The important decisions include corporate development goals, corporate medium and long-term development planning, corporate plans for important investments and major production and operation decisions, corporate financial budgets and final accounts, corporate restructuring plans, corporate merger and bankruptcy plans, important corporate technological transformation plans, and corporate downsizing, shunt and placement plans. In the organizing and command links, it requires that the issues related to the immediate interests of the workers, including workers’ wages, bonus distribution, social security fund payments, labor protection measures, workers training plans, professional title evaluations, rewards, punishments and promotion, change from agricultural status to non-agricultural status, family planning index setting, labor employment and collective contract signing. Disclosing selection, use and management of corporate officials mainly includes recruitment conditions, procedures and results of officials at different posts, leading official appraisal standards, procedures and results of the corporate worker representative assembly, and implementation of the clean, honest and self-disciplined stipulation for corporate officials. In the coordinating and control links, it requires the disclosure of corporate operating conditions, including annual production and operation goals and performance, financial budgets and final accounts, corporate guarantee, use of large sums of funds, product sales, profit and loss, procurement and supply of large quantities of materials, use of corporate entertainment expenses, income and treatment of corporate officials. The income and treatment of corporate officials include salaries, bonuses, annual salary system implementation, housing, configurations and expenses of the corporate officials’ transport and communication tools, and the corporate officials’ international travel.38
 
V. Democratic Rights Related to International Communication Processes 
 
Judged from its extent, China’s whole-process people’s democracy is all-round. It includes both democracy in the processes of domestic politics, policies, social governance and the management processes of enterprises and public institutions and democracy in international communication processes. International communication processes involve both political communication between countries and economic, social and cultural communication between countries. Democratic requirements in international communication processes are in essence the promotion of democracy in international relations. 
 
The promotion of democracy in international relations has been brought forward against power politics and unilateralism in international relations. A few countries disregard self-evident international truths, infringe international norms, go against international popular will, openly violate the sovereignty of other countries, intervene in other countries’ internal affairs, frequently bully small and weak countries, and turn “the global village” into a primitive jungle in which the law of the jungle applies, making the whole of mankind face destructive risks. 
 
The international order in the modern sense was established as Western capitalism rose and expanded. Its basic form is a hierarchy structure. With power and interest as the basic principle and wars and violence as the means, it is in unstable. Although democracy was one of the basic slogans of the modern European enlightenment movement, it is now universally regarded as the most progressive proposition of the modern bourgeois revolution. Western powers did not attempt to promote this principle in international relations, however, before the 20th century. Democracy in international relations began to be promoted by both the worldwide socialist movement and the Asian and African National Liberation Movement at the beginning of the 20th century. Then the proposition of establishing a new international order gradually developed into a historical trend based on this.39
 
The overall requirements for the promotion of democracy in international relations are that the destiny of the world should be in the hands of all the peoples of all countries, international rules should be jointly formulated by all countries, global affairs should be jointly governed by all countries, and development results should be shared by all countries. To promote democracy in international relations should protect the democratic rights of all the peoples of all countries in international communication processes. 
 
International communication processes include multiple links such as organization and standardization, communication and negotiation, cooperation and achievement distribution, conflict control and war prevention. They involve the protection of the right to free selection, the right to equal participation, the right to freedom of expression, the right to equal negotiation, the right to share development achievements, and the right to the peaceful coexistence of all countries. 
 
A. Protection of the right to free selection and the right to equal participation of all countries in the organization and standardization links 
 
To organize and standardize democracy promotion in international communication involves the protection of the right to free selection and the right to equal participation of all countries. International affairs should be jointly participated in and dealt with by all countries. They should not be controlled and monopolized by some powers. It should be guaranteed that the right to speak, the right to vote, and the right to formulate rules of all countries are equal and all countries fairly participate in international affairs. It is especially important to “enhance the representativeness and right to speak of most developing countries in international affairs.”40 General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that: “We should resolutely uphold the authority and standing of the United Nations, and work together to practice true multilateralism. Building a community with a shared future for human beings requires a strong United Nations and reform and development of the global governance system. Countries should uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. International rules can only be made by the 193 UN Member States together, and should not be decided by individual countries or blocs of countries. The 193 UN Member States should observe international rules, and there is and should be no exception.”41
 
B. Protection of the right to freedom of expression and the right to equal negotiation of all countries in the communication and negotiation links 
 
To promote democracy in the communication and negotiation links involves protection of the right to free selection and the right to equal negotiation of all countries. We should ensure the right of all peoples of all countries to self-determination, and respect and ensure the right of all the peoples of all countries to independent selection of their own social systems and their own development roads. No countries shall intervene in or violate these rights in any form. In dealing with international affairs, each country has its right to independent propositional expression, and it shall not be forced to do anything. When we deal with different viewpoints of all countries about international affairs, we should respect civilization diversity and jointly solve international issues through equal negotiation. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out: “Democracy and human rights are the common pursuits of mankind. Meanwhile, we must respect the right of all the peoples of all countries to select their own development roads”;42 “all countries should abide by the purposes and principles of the United Nations, adhere to believing that all countries are equal irrespective of their size, strength and wealth, respect the x diversity of civilizations and the diversity of development paths, the diversity of the world and promote democracy in international relations.”43
 
C. Protection of the right of all the peoples of all countries to equally cooperate and share achievements in the cooperation and achievement distribution links 
 
To promote democracy in the cooperation and achievement distribution links involves protection of the right of all the peoples of all countries to equally cooperate and share development achievements. Democracy promotion in international relations includes democracy promotion in international political relations and democracy promotion in international economic relations. Democracy promotion in international economic relations requires that the international community should strengthen the north-south cooperation and the south-south cooperation. It is the responsibility of developed countries to take pragmatic measures to help developing countries achieve their development goals so that both the developed countries and the developing countries benefit from the globalization, the gap between the rich and the poor is prevented from expanding, and the contradiction between the developed countries and the developing countries is prevented from becoming greater. This requires us to adhere to win-win cooperation, joint development and achievement sharing when we deal with the interest relationship. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out: “We argue that all countries and the peoples of all countries should share development achievements. Each country should actively share the development with other countries while it strives to develop itself. It is not the long-term development of the world that some countries become richer and richer while other countries become poorer and poorer. The world can develop better only when all countries jointly develop. Benefiting oneself at others’ expense, exporting crises and harming others to benefit oneself are all neither moral nor durable.”44
 
D. Protection of the right to national sovereignty integrity and the right against being compelled of all countries in the conflict control link 
 
If countries sharply conflict due to the distribution of benefits, they will fail to narrow the differences in their viewpoints, and they will not achieve consensus. Instead, they will face confrontation, potential conflict, even a war. Under such circumstances, controlling conflict and preventing war becomes a subsequent stage in the international communication process. It respects the sovereignty of all countries and upholds the right to peaceful coexistence among countries. When conflict is controlled, respect for the sovereignty of all countries is taken as the principle, peaceful negotiation is taken as the path, and maintaining peaceful coexistence among countries is taken as the purpose. Both the principle of sovereign equality and the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs are stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations. The Charter of the United Nations objects to a big country bullying a small one, a rich country oppressing a poor one, and a powerful country bullying a weaker one. 
 
The United Nations has adopted a series of resolutions to object to unilateral coercive measures. The phrase “unilateral coercive measures” usually refers to the economic measures taken by one country to compel another country to change its policies. These measures include some trade sanctions such as embargoes, and the interruption of financial and investment flows between sender and target countries. The UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council have repeatedly pointed out that unilateral coercive measures have negative effects on the full enjoyment of human rights. For example, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action passed at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 called on all countries “to refrain from any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that creates obstacles to trade relations among countries and impedes the full realization of the human rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments, in particular the rights of everyone to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being, including food and medical care, housing and the necessary social services.”45 On October 5, 2020, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Zhang Jun, Ambassador, pointed out that unilateral coercive measures violate the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law, multilateralism, and basic principles of international relations, they have undeniable effects on human rights, impede the full realization of social and economic development, damage the welfare of the people of the affected countries and hinder people from acquiring medicine, medical technology, devices and materials on behalf of 26 countries in a general debate of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. He called on countries to completely cancel unilateral coercive measures.46 General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out: “We should respect each other and negotiate on an equal footing, firmly abandon the Cold War mentality and power politics, develop a new country-to-country communication method by means of which countries can engage in dialogue, not confrontion, and develop together, not ally against another. We will adhere to settling disputes through dialogue and resolve disagreements through negotiation”47
 
VI. Promote the Refinement of Whole-Process People’s Democracy and the Protection of People’s Democratic Rights 
 
To comprehensively promote democratic construction in the political process, policy process, urban and rural community governance process, enterprise and public organization management process and international communication process, it is necessary to more precisely and effectively protect the democratic rights that the people enjoy in the five processes. 
 
First, to promote the construction of a whole-process people’s democracy, it is necessary to more precisely distinguish the different democratic rights needed in the five processes. When Chinese people sum up the democratic rights they enjoy, they usually think that the rights are generally the right to elect, the right to know, the right to participation, the right to freedom of expression and the right to supervision. However, to comprehensively promote the whole-process people’s process, it is necessary to more precisely distinguish the different democratic rights protected by each process, and to more precisely distinguish the different rights that need to be protected in each process. A right has different contents and limits in the different links of different processes. For example, the right to know, the right to participation, the right to freedom of expression and the right to supervision have different implications and contents in the political process, policy process, community governance process and enterprise and public institution management process; they have different contents and requirements in different links of the political process such as election, legislation, law enforcement and justice. 
 
To more precisely distinguish the democratic rights involved in different processes and different links can help identify where there is a lack or deficiency of democratic right protection in these processes, so as to more precisely strengthen democratic rights protection in the relevant processes and links. 
 
Second, to promote the construction of a whole-process people’s democracy, it is necessary to further improve the protection of the relevant democratic systems and democratic rights. As mentioned above, China has built a series of relevant systems for the whole-process people’s democracy. However, neither a unified system nor unified provisions are available in some fields at present. For example, in the management of enterprises and public institutions, unified provisions for the worker representative assembly are not available, and systematic rules are not available for democratic negotiation in various processes; it is necessary to further improve the letters and visits system, the appeal system, the report and accusation system, the accountability system, etc. in the protection aspect of the right to supervision. 
 
Third, to promote the construction of a whole-process people’s democracy, not only relevant democratic systems and democratic rights protection systems need to be established and improved, but also an effective mechanism through which the democratic systems can be successfully implemented in the actual operation processes and the democratic rights protection systems can be fully realized in the actual operational processes need to be established and improved. For example, it is stipulated in the Organic Law of the Urban Residential Committee of the People’s Republic of China that members of the urban residential committee shall be elected, but an effective mechanism through which the election process can be effectively implemented is still unavailable due to huge sizes and complexity of Chinese urban communities. Various regions have explored a lot of effective mechanisms in the aspect of negotiation democracy in recent years. They need to sum up, improve and promote the mechanisms. On the whole, the release and application mechanism that informs the public, the mechanism for collecting opinions from various parties and achieving consensus, the representativeness and responsibility mechanism of participation, the mechanism for negotiation of different stakeholders, the mechanism advocating differences, the selective voting mechanism, the supervised inquiry mechanism, the mechanism through which the party leads and coordinates democratic processes, etc. need to be improved. 
 
Fourth, to promote the construction of a whole-process people’s democracy, not only some systems and effective mechanisms need to be established and improved, but also the democratic ability of the people needs to be improved. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have pointed out in the Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Strengthening and Improving Urban and Rural Community Governance that: “We should strengthen the participation ability of community residents… We should help residents develop their negotiation consciousness, master negotiation methods, enhance their negotiation ability and facilitate the formation of an urban and rural community negotiation mechanism with both democracy and centralization through which the will of the majority is respected, and the lawful rights and interests of the minority are protected.”48 The actual operation of democratic systems and mechanisms needs people to have the ability to practice democracy. A lot of things such as various interests, various rights and the trade-off between power and rights need to be considered in the processes of democratic practice. Therefore, it is required that a democratic process practitioner should have a wide field of view, comprehensive knowledge of rights and abundant practical experiences. This not only requires people to receive a more vivid, specific and comprehensive democratic education, but also requires people to accumulate their experiences and improve their skills in repeated democratic practice so that the realization of whole-process people’s democracy can not only protect the democratic rights of the people, but also enhance decision-making efficiency and decision-making quality, coordinate and promote the realization of the interests of all parties concerned, maintain social stability and strengthen the ability of the country to deal with various risks. 
 
Finally, to promote the whole-process people’s democracy, it is necessary to establish a a system and mechanism for evaluating the democratic effects, and constantly improve the democratic mechanism and implementation method by evaluating the democracy implementation effect. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have put forward in the Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Strengthening and Improving Urban and Rural Community Governance that we should “gradually build a community governance evaluation system taking community resident satisfaction as the main measuring criterion and a mechanism for publishing the evaluation results.”49 Xi Jinping has pointed out: “to judge whether a country is both democratic and effective mainly depends on whether the leadership succession of the country can be carried out orderly according to law, whether the whole people can administer their state affairs, social affairs, economy and cultural undertakings according to law, whether the people can express their interest requirements well, whether all groups of society can effectively participate in the political life of the country, whether decision-making of the state is both scientific and democratic, whether various talents can become members of the state leadership and administration system through fair competition, whether the ruling party can successfully lead the state affairs according to the stipulations of the constitution and laws and whether the power exertion is effectively restricted and supervised.”50 The above statement of Xi Jinping explicitly describes how to evaluate the democracy implementation effect. 
 
To sum up, to promote whole-process people’s democracy has brought forward higher requirements for the construction of China’s democracy. It is necessary for us to enhance the protection level of the people’s democratic rights in various aspects such as consciousness, systems, mechanisms and practice ability so that democracy will be better promoted in China. 
 
(Translated by LIU Zhao)
 
* CHANG Jian ( 常健 ), Director of the Human Rights Research Center of Nankai University and Professor at the Zhou Enlai Government Management School of Nankai University. 
 
** LI Tingting ( 李婷婷 ), Associate Professor of the Public Services and Facilities Department, School of Humanities, Civil Aviation University of China. This paper is a phased achievement of both the National Social Science Fund Project “Research on Grassroots Political Stability and Risk Management and Control” (Project No. 19BZZ048) and the National Human Rights Education and Training Base Project of the Ministry of Education “Research on the Contents and Implementation Method of Civil Participation Rights” (Project No. 21JJD820003). 
 
1. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights (Beijing: Central Party Literature Press, 2021), 27. 
 
2. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021.
 
3. Li Lin, “Essential Characteristics and Theoretical Connotation of Whole-Process People’s Democracy”, Social Governance 8 (2021); Zhang Jun, “Whole-Process People’s Democracy: New Forms of People’s Democracy in the New Era”, CASS Journal of Political Science 4 (2021); Fan Peng,“Whole-Process People’s Democracy: High-Quality Democracy with Significant System Advantages”, CASS Journal of Political Science 4 (2021). 
 
4. Bao Yajun, “Rise of Political Process Research and Its Analysis Perspective”, Oriental Forum 1 (2006): 118. 
 
5. Ibid.
 
6. Wang Yongsheng, “Democracy and Political Processes — Charles Tilly’s Concept of Democracy”, Nanjing Journal of Social Sciences 1 (2016): 68. 
 
7. Bao Yajun, “Rise of Political Process Research and Its Analysis Perspective”, 118.
 
8. Bao Yajun, “Retrospection and Reflection of Political Process Analysis Methods”, Oriental Forum 6 (2007): 97. 
 
9. Zhu Guanglei, Contemporary Chinese Government Process (Tianjin: Tianjin People’s Publishing House, 2008).
 
10. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 13. 
 
11. Ibid., 107. 
 
12. Ibid. 
 
13. Ibid., 13. 
 
14. Ibid., 107. 
 
15. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021. 
 
16. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021.
 
17. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 13. 
 
18. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021.
 
19. Ibid. 
 
20. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 144. 
 
21. Ibid. 
 
22. the Examination and Approval Committee of Management Science and Technology Terminology, Management Science and Technology Terminology (Beijing: Science Press, 2016), Section 2 of Chapter 11.
 
23. Kong Fanbin, “Whole-Process Democracy: New Situation of Policy Participation Process Optimization”, Exploration and Free Views 12 (2020): 20-23.
 
24. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 12. 
 
25. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021.
 
26. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021. 
 
27. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 146. 
 
28. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021. 
 
29. Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Strengthening and Improving Urban and Rural Community Governance (June 12, 2017), the official website of the central government, accessed December 30, 2021, http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2017-06/12/content_5201910.htm. 
 
30. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021. 
 
31. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 88. 
 
32. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021. 
 
33. Ibid. 
 
34. Ibid. 
 
35. Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Strengthening and Improving Urban and Rural Community Governance (June 12, 2017), the official website of the central government, accessed December 30, 2021, http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2017-06/12/content_5201910.htm. 
 
36. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 138. 
 
37. The Information Office of the State Council, “China’s Democracy”, People’s Daily, December 5, 2021.
 
38. Anonymous, “Contents and Forms of Transparent Organization Affairs”, A View of Trade Unions 19 (2006): 65. 
 
39. Liu Jie, “Establish a New International Order and Promote Democracy in International Relations”, Research on Mao Zedong’s Theory and Deng Xiaoping’s Theory 3 (2002): 61-72.
 
40. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 196. 
 
41. Xi Jinping, “Xi Jinping’s Speech at the Conference Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Lawful Seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations”, People’s Daily, October 26, 2021. 
 
42. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 164. 
 
43. Ibid., 162. 
 
44. Ibid.,161-162. 
 
45. Unilateral Coercive Measures and Human Rights, the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, accessed January 5, 2022, https://ohchr.org/CH/NewsEvents/Seminars/Pa-ges/WorkshopCoerciveMeasures.aspx. 
 
46. China Criticizes America and Western Countries for Infringement of Human Rights on Behalf of 26 Countries at the UN Assembly, People’s Daily, October 7, 2020. 
 
47. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights, 161-162. 
 
48. Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Strengthening and Improving Urban and Rural Community Governance (June 12, 2017), the official website of the central government, accessed December 30, 2021, http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2017-06/12/content_5201910.htm. 
 
49. Ibid. 
 
50. Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Right, 25-26.
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