China’s one party system vs Democracy

  • IASbaba
  • April 20, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

China’s one party system vs Democracy

Context: Critics blame China for unleashing COVID-19 across the world through the lack of transparency inherent in its one-party authoritarian system. 

In order to counter this negative perception, China has unleashed a sustained propaganda campaign that is based on two aspects

  1. Superiority of Authoritarian System vis-à-vis Democracy
  • Chinese system was able to arrest the pandemic within the country through drastic measures on a massive scale (Ex: Lockdown of Wuhan)
  • China’s strategy was successful than ineffective measures taken in Democratic countries especially in USA
  1. Benevolence of China
  • China wants to garner goodwill by providing much-needed medical equipment and medical teams to assist affected countries
  • The recipients have often been “persuaded” to express praise for China.

What is the Chinese view on the Pandemic? 

  • The COVID-19 virus did erupt in Wuhan, but it may not have originated in China
  • The delay in acknowledging the seriousness of the crisis was due to missteps by the local leadership in Wuhan city and Hubei province
  • Once the gravity of the situation was recognised, Chinese leaders promptly informed the WHO and shared the DNA sequence of the virus.
  • The unprecedented measures adopted by Chinese authorities imposed great suffering on the Chinese people but bought valuable time for the rest of the world to get prepared to deal with the pandemic. 
  • China’s economy is beginning to recover and this will contribute to the recovery of the global economy.
  • All these reinforces the merits of China’s political System (One-Party rule)

Is China’s one-party system better compared to democracies?

Not necessarily, this is because

  • COVID-19 may not have become a pandemic if China were a democracy with a free flow of information through an independent media and accountable political leadership
  • There are democracies which have done well to contain the Epidemic Ex: Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, India
  • Criticism of China’s assistance being defective and low-quality 
  • Criticism from African Countries against harsh China’s actions as there were reports from Guangzhou(China) on racial discrimination against stranded African students
  • The result of being a democracy is that we have a better chance of 
    • Knowing the true dimensions of the crisis i.e. Transparency of government functioning
    • Being able to obtain constant feedback on people’s reactions 
    • Access the best advice from multiple sources.


Beijing’s response to Covid underlines that the world needs more democracy, not less

Connecting the dots:

  • China’s Economic Model 
  • COVID-19’s impact on Global Political and Economic Structure

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