fredag 9. mars 2018

What Do China’s Democratic Parties Actually Do?

Following Friday’s press conference for the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the annual plenary sessions of China’s top legislative and political advisory bodies will kick off in the usual fashion on Saturday. That means China’s eight non-communist parties, known in Mandarin as the “democratic parties,” will no doubt become the focus of public attention once again.

China’s democratic parties have been described as empty shells by Western media outlets in their coverage of the Two Sessions over the past decades. The assumption stems from the fact that democratic parties are not vested with substantial power by the Chinese Constitution, despite their constitutionally endowed position. However, in reality, democratic parties and their political functions are much more dynamic than Western media coverage conveys.