There are many parties in China. Every party in China is constantly involved in governmental policy-making through the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

There were two strong parties during Anti-Fascist-Japanese-Invasion War: KMT and CPC. At the end of the Anti-Japanese War, Mao published his article ON COALITION GOVERNMENT, detailing the policy of building a unified China of Independence, Freedom, Democracy, and Prosperity. The majority of parties in China support the CPC’s idea of a coalition government except for KMT. KMT wanted to exclude all other parties and had KMT the only party to rule China. Chiang assassinated a few democratic activists, in the era of White Terror. After Japan surrendered in 1945, KMT launched a civil war and was defeated.

New China was established in 1949 with a political system structured largely according to the document of ON COALITION GOVERNMENT.

Chinese democracy is therefore different from Western democracy. Western democracy is based on competition among multiple parties, while Chinese democracy is based on a coalition among multiple parties. A coalition needs a leader, and all parties supported CPC as the leader due to the leadership CPC played in the Anti-Japanese War. CPC leadership is therefore written into the Constitution. An Anti-Japanese invasion song became the national anthem. The constitution was the result of political consultation by many parties together. In the very beginning, Chinese parties were not competing with each other for power but cooperated together focusing on how to build a new China. Each Chinese parties are worried not about the interest of special groups but emphasize how to build the new China they wanted for a hundred years.

For a hundred years, the ultimate conflict of interest had not been among different groups of Chinese people but between Chinese people and western powers. It is the international pressure that shaped the structure of the Chinese political system. That’s the most effective political system to resist outside threats to China. When an outside threat is diminished, the system will obsolete. Before 2008, China already show signs of evolving toward the western political system. Then there come the US re-balance of Asia-Pacific, and suddenly the system since 1949 was reinforced.

Competing among the Chinese makes no sense when facing common enemies such as the Japanese invasion. Competing politics makes no sense when world military forces and nuclear countries surround China. Coalition politics is, therefore, a historical choice.

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Xiaoming Guo

Ph.D. from McGill University. MBA from Queen’s University. A patriot Canadian believes that a good relationship with China serves our best national interest.