• Wed
  • Sep 24, 2014
  • Updated: 5:08am

Xi's 'socialism only way' remarks get mixed reaction at home

President's assertion during Belgium speech that experiments with other political systems ended in failure challenged by internet users

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2014, 1:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 April, 2014, 4:53am

President Xi Jinping's claim that alternative political systems, such as multiparty democracy, were tried and failed in China set off an internet debate yesterday, with some people dismissing the remarks as an excuse for retaining power.

Xi told an audience at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, that China needed to follow a path that suited its own reality, as other political systems have proved unsuccessful since the end of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and the formation of the Chinese republic in its wake.

"Constitutional monarchy, imperial restoration, parliamentary or multiparty systems and a presidential government were all deliberated and tried, but nothing really worked," Xi said. "Finally, China took the path of socialism. Admittedly in the process of building socialism we have had successes, but also made mistakes."

Xi said that not until late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping launched his "socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the early 1980s did China find "our path and achieve success".

Some internet users were disappointed, arguing that democracy was never given a fair chance and that socialism was chosen by a small group of Communist Party leaders.

"Have we really tried other forms of government?" one said. "That's what textbooks have been saying, but none of the people around me agree."

Others argued that socialism was a practical choice for a nation undergoing massive changes.

"Actually what he said was right," another internet user said. "There have been revolutions in the past and there are multiparty systems in parts of China, like … Taiwan, but the motherland comes out the strongest."

China's constitution enshrines the Communist Party's long-term "leading" role in government, although it allows the existence of various other political parties under what is calls a "multi-party co-operation system". But all are subservient to the Communist Party.

Jin Canrong , a professor at Renmin University's school of international relations, said Xi's remarks showed a desire to prove the one-party system was a legacy of history.

"It was akin to saying 'don't criticise us for our system now. It was left behind by former leaders and has endured with time. It wasn't man-made, so it cannot be unchallenged'," he said.

Jin said Xi's assertion that China had given other political systems a chance was debatable and that the republic between 1911 and 1949 was almost bound to amid the turmoil of the era.

Jia Qingguo, an international relations professor at Peking University, agreed with Xi.

"The political system of the Republic of China was democracy," Jia said. "People's lives were indeed miserable, but China did give democracy a chance."

Xi also said in his speech that China had a long, tortured past fraught with foreign invasions. Now that the nation's destiny was back in its own hands, the Chinese people wanted peace and opposed war, which explained China's non-interventionist foreign policy, he said.

Additional reporting by Reuters


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An excellent picture of the First Couple. I give some credit to the editor in matching the picture with the text.
No country can escape from practicing some form of socialism. US practices it partially and France does it mostly. The fact is that we aren’t all born of equal ability and socialism can lessen the consequence of those differences. Animals may not.
Hong Kong practices no ism except prevailed by a refugee culture that when things become not to ones liking off one goes to a greener pasture. Even though the damage is of one's own doing.

Force the 1.3 billion ungrateful Chinese ppl play team sports for 10 years and then let them decide what form of governance they want...
Robby Liu
To be honest, Socialism is not so bad! It has its own advantage. but I would like to say we are not really in socialism. Bribery and corruption for officials prevail everywhere around in china. If you are quite acquainted the living conditions of many Chinese people, you will know how dark it is! Just like a saying: Speaking is one thing, Done is another thing!
Hi! To defend democracy, justice and human rights in China, I just started a petition on the White House petitions site, We the People. Will you sign it? http wh.gov/lp6Jz or https petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/urge-chinas-authority-comply-udhr-and-ratify-iccpr-benefit-everyone-world/hXqnNyJw
The current form of governance has absolutely nothing to do with socialism. It's a super capitalist kleptocracy, with no respect nor value for human life, no rule of law, and totally immoral and corrupt.
An Italian named Gucciardini in his book "the recordi" published in the year 1561, said it best, and to paraphrase: I've seen every form of government conceivable (democracy, plutocracy, aristocracy, oligarchy, technocracy, etc.) and in my opinion, the best government is the one run by good men, regardless of how they are selected.
that pretty much sums up the entire truth of governments. furthermore, no form is without flaw. specifically, today's form of democracy is the rabble electing those who are best at lying and pandering to the public. ........
Xi is probably right in his recent comments.
Those rabble are people just as capable of voting as you, arrogant dude. Xi is an autocrat focused on making sure princelings run the show so the suck off enough to send the kids to be educated in the US or UK and have huge houses in and outside china. Laughing at you suck ups
The problem with Xi's comment is that China has never been a true democracy . And China of today is defenitivly not a socialist country . It is an country ruled and governed by a few people that can only be selected by a few others . Actully China of today have more to do with Chinas feodalistic past then to do with Any type of socialism. Then if this is the way China wish to be ruled and governed that is another question. But to Think Chinese politicians care about What normal people in China think is just naive . They only Think about themselves and their own wallet. All the coruption cases this years is big evidence on this.


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