Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday questioned his US counterpart Joe Biden’s initiative to rally democratic countries, saying democracy is not “mass-produced” with a uniform model.

China’s ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) has in recent months attacked Biden’s plan to hold a summit of democracies next month, saying Washington cannot hold a patent to democracy.

The CPC has virtually monopolised political power since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. The CPC-led one-party system, criticised for its secretive and authoritarian functioning, is also projecting itself a democratic party, stating that it continually bettered people’s well-being and addressed livelihood issues in the world’s most populous nation.

In an apparent attempt to project the democratic credentials of the CPC, Xi in a rare move voted at a polling station here to elect deputies to a local people’s congress on November 5.

During his much-awaited virtual summit with his US counterpart on Tuesday, Xi, also General Secretary of the CPC, highlighted that civilizations are rich and diverse, and so is democracy.

Democracy is not mass produced with a uniform model or configuration for countries around the world, he told Biden.

Whether a country is democratic or not should be left to its own people to decide. Dismissing forms of democracy that are different from one’s own is in itself undemocratic, he said.

“China is ready to have dialogues on human rights on the basis of mutual respect, but we oppose using human rights to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs, he said, apparently referring to the US allegations of genocide against Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang as well as allegations of human rights violations in Hong Kong and Tibet.

A senior CPC official, Jian Jinquan, who on November 12 briefed the media here on the party’s recently held Plenum meeting sought to project the CPC as a democratic party, refuting criticism of its autocratic functioning.

He especially attacked Biden’s plan to hold a summit of democracies.

“Recently, the US has put together the so-called summit for democracies to revitalise the western democracy. To convene such a summit against the backdrop of loads of problems for the western democracies is such an irony. The intention is nothing but bashing other countries and dividing the world, which cannot be achieved, he said.

“Democracy is not an exclusive patent of western countries and even less defined or dictated by western countries. The electoral democracy of the west is actually ruled by capital and it is the game of rich not real democracy. Democratic models of the world cannot be the same. Even the western forms of democracies are not entirely identical, said Jian, Director of policy research of the CPC.

Also read | EXPLAINER: How power and ideology define Xi’s rise in China

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