David answered on
Nov 30 2019
The Beijing Model of Soft-Authoritarianism and its Rivalry to Liberal Democracy in China
The progress of democracy propagates liberalism in the political issues and capitalism in the economic issues. In spite of freedom and human rights being basis and core of virtue for the people in liberal democracy, it seems that people have gained the power but practically it’s tend to few powerful circles. Democracy is surely considered an improvement from authoritarian and aristocratic form of institution but it is still considered to be leaned to oligarchy system. China or The People’s Republic of China has a very unique form of democracy. It is a Democratic Dictatorship. The cu
ent economical, ideological and political system has been termed as Socialist market economy, socialist with Chinese characteristics and people’s democratic dictatorship. China has a single political party which represents and governs on behalf of its citizens, i.e. Communist Party of China. It is based on core Marxism ideology and follows Leninist political organization. But the confusing part is that the government has rooted socialism out and has imbibed a typical capitalist approach in communist ideology. As China has evolved a global power but its fixation to communist and Marxist mindset has become a cause of concern for many countries (especially Western countries) around the world to engage in a progressive dialogues with its leaders (Friedman,2006, Page: 91-110)
The government has placed heavy restrictions in many areas such as – free formation of social organizations, freedom of the press, right to have children, free access to internet and freedom to practice own religion. This unevenly juxtaposed form of government with communist, capitalist, socialist and Marxist ideology with authoritarian and dictatorship mindset has become a debatable topic on an international forum.
Liberal Democracy versus Constitutionalism
A Liberal democracy is an ideology or type of government in which freedom and rights of individuals is protected and delegates of the political parties who are elected are to practice decision-making power which is the subject to the constitutional law. Liberal democracies are characterized by periodically holding elections in which groups with differing political views participate and have the chance or opportunity to achieve political power. Majority of times elections are always won by political parties who support in the concept of liberal democracy and thus the system perpetuates itself. Soft-authoritarianism, in the same context of examining the various ideologies connected with it is defined as a phenomenon in which minimal concepts of democracy i.e. political freedom, equality, and fair electoral process are practiced and basic political and social rights are often compromised (Rodan, 2008, P. 231-251).
One the other hand, Constitutionalism is often described as the base of governance but laws are framed in a manner which suppresses the political freedom of citizens. Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and China are under the radar to practice the concept of soft-authoritarianism. The citizens of the country are passive participants in the so called ‘democratic’ state and are bound to consent to the legitimacy of the regime. China has experienced a form of political repression over past few years and is termed to be transformed from a hard authoritarianism to soft authoritarianism (Yan, 2011, Pg: 66, 53-75) Government focuses their limited resources on small number of political dissidents and also grants a high level of personal freedom to masses who doesn’t openly challenge the ruling elite. In spite of allowing public space and freedom to individuals, soft authoritarianism receives flak or criticism from international community.
Chinese Support to Non-Liberal Regimes: First Cause
At first, China frequently promotes and backs upon illiberal and non-democratic regimes with global investment, access to its markets locally and strengthening ties with it for exports of goods and weapons. For example, Bilateral ties of China with Africa in terms of complete package serving- military assistance, cultural and educational exchanges, trade and investments, medical aid and relief packages, exchange of technical expertise and knowledge. It encourages the non...