China Daily‘s English-language website published an article on Wednesday morning about China’s “expansion of grassroots democracy” that promotes village-level democratic reforms for being more representative and preventing corruption.
To avoid concentrating power in the hands of just a few people, Baisha introduced a villager representative system, or Villager Congress, in 2006. Unlike the past, when village heads decided everything, all major issues in the village are now decided by the representatives.
According to Chinese law, a village head is elected by all the villagers, but in most cases, a supervision system is not in place. Many village chiefs have continued to find ways to impose autocratic rule, having taken office via bribery or threats, said analysts.
In the village head election in 2005, only 15 of the 23 villages in the town were able to choose new leaders, for power was hard to be compromised, said Zhu Maitun, former secretary of the Baisha committee of the CPC.
The introduction of the villager congress system has allowed elections to proceed more smoothly. In the 2008 village head election, all 23 villages chose new leaders with the help of the village deputies, as conflicts were first eliminated among families.
The “village deputy system” is the epitome of China’s exploration of grassroots democracy.
The expansion of the primary-level democracy has laid a firm foundation and prepared talented people for overall democracy in China, said Li Liangdong, a researcher with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.