China Pursues Its Own Style of Democracy in Local Elections

Author: Lyu Qiuping, Liang Tianyun, Xu Yang

(By Lyu Qiuping, Liang Tianyun and Xu Yang. Xinhua News Agency, Nov. 15, 2016. Complete text:) Beijing - Compared with the US presidential election that recently stunned the world, retiree Han Yueai cares more about the election on her own doorstep.

Han and 2,300 of her neighbors in Bajiaobeili neighborhood of Beijing’s Shijingshan District on Tuesday [Nov. 15] voted for three district-level deputies to the people’s congress.

"People vote for their own representatives to solve difficulties for people," she said.

On Tuesday, residents of 16 districts in Beijing Municipality, including the top leadership of the country, voted for more than 4,300 district-level and 10,000 township-level deputies for the people’s congress.

Han asked one of the candidates Chen Peng about how to address the nursing facility shortage in the neighborhood, as she could not find a vacant bed in any local nursing home.

"If I am elected I will negotiate with civil affairs and other related departments in the district, and speed up construction of more nursing homes," Chen said at a meeting between voters and candidates organized by the local election committee.

Chen, 42, has won people’s favor over the past two years, serving as head of the neighborhood. Other candidates include the manager of a local company, the owner of a private pharmacy and a grassroots cadre.

Democracy Chinese style.

The people’s congress system has been in place for 62 years and is China’s fundamental political system. There are people’s congresses from the national level right down to the smallest townships. At township and county level, deputies are directly elected by citizens every five years. Deputies of higher levels are voted by deputies from lower levels.

More than 900 million Chinese have or will elect over 2.5 million deputies at county and township levels in elections running into next year, ...

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