Press Release: Civic Exchange Releases a Report on “Internal Democratization of the CPC and its Future-From Theory to Practice”

Civic Exchange today released a report entitled, “Internal Democratization of the CPC and its Future – From Theory to Practice” written by LIN Feng. This report looks at the internal democratization of the Communist Part of China (CPC). This is Civic Exchange’s second project to look at national policy issues that are of interest to both national and international communities.
“The CPC is the ruling political party in China. Its policy and practice on democracy will have an impact on democratic progress in China. To understand the internal democratization of the CPC is a prerequisite to a proper understanding of the development of democracy in the whole of China,” said Professor LIN, Associate Professor, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong.
The report explores the reasons why the CPC wants to develop internal democracy via the following three aspects: a) the historical development of internal democracy within the CPC; b) reasons for the lack of internal democracy; and c) justifications for recent promotion of internal democracy within the CPC. The report also examines how the CPC has developed internal democracy so far through looking at competitive elections, internal decision-making mechanisms, internal supervision mechanisms and mechanisms for protection of CPC members’ rights.
LIN added, “Although recent reports on election results in 2006 are positive in that they are more democratic, development of competitive elections within the CPC is still at its preliminary stage and only in the lower levels of CPC organizations.”
“It seems that the reforms carried out in the organs involved in the decision-making process so far have moved in the right direction, but the reforms alone will not be sufficient to prevent excessive concentration of power in leaders, and to prevent abuse of power by CPC members holding leadership positions,” LIN continued. 
The report finally looks at the future of internal democracy within the CPC. The internal democracy within the CPC is not developing smoothly without any obstacles. Concerns have been raised as to whether internal democracy within the CPC will cause endless debate within the CPC and thus affect the unity of the party, and whether internal democracy would pose negative impacts on the authority of party organizations and individual leaders. The report contends that one should remain cautious about the fundamental objective for developing internal democracy within the CPC, which is to strengthen the supremacy of the CPC.
LIN put in his final remarks, “I remain cautiously optimistic about the future development of internal democracy within the CPC, but there exists the possibility that reforms concerning such development may be called off if they threaten the governing status of the CPC.”