August 30, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9519

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying On Democracy: It's 'Not Coca-Cola... Many Chinese Prefer The Beijing-Based 'Artic Ocean' Soft Drink'

August 30, 2021
China | Special Dispatch No. 9519

At an August 20, 2021 press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the events that followed showed that democracy "imposed and transplanted by others" will not "last" or "be firm."

She added: "There is no set model of democracy. To give you an analogy, cold milk on a daily basis doesn't agree with the Chinese stomach, and chopsticks are not often used by Americans. A meal of hamburger or steak with fork and knife is not the only way to be well fed. Democracy is not Coca-Cola, which, with the syrup produced by the U.S., tastes the same across the world. Many Chinese prefer the Beijing-based 'Arctic Ocean' soft drink."

Below is Hua Chunying's statement:[1]


'Democracy Cannot Be Predetermined Or Overstretched'

China Daily: "The Afghanistan situation has undergone major changes recently. Former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan P. Michael McKinley published an article in the Foreign Affairs saying that the U.S. efforts to impose a Western democratic model on Afghanistan which continued over two decades failed. German President said the cruel scenes at Kabul airport are shameful for the West. The Brookings Institution said that issues like Afghanistan fully reveal the gap between U.S. rhetoric and actions in its promotion of Western democratic values, which will cast a shadow over the world's first global summit for democracy to be held by the U.S. at the end of this year. Do you have any comment?"

Hua Chunying: "The major changes in Afghanistan once again show that democracy imposed and transplanted by others will not last or be firm. I learned from news today that one of the people who died after falling from the landing gear of a US plane was 19-year-old Afghan national team football player Zaki Anwari. This is heart-breaking.

"Facts show that democracy cannot be predetermined or overstretched. There is no set model of democracy. To give you an analogy, cold milk on a daily basis doesn't agree with a Chinese stomach and chopsticks are not often used by Americans. A meal of hamburger or steak with fork and knife is not the only way to get one well fed. Democracy is not Coca-Cola, which, with the syrup produced by the United States, tastes the same across the world. Many Chinese prefer Beijing-based soda drink branded Arctic Ocean.

'Chinese Democracy Is People's Democracy, While The U.S.' Is Money Democracy'

"What is democracy? Who gets to define it? How to judge whether a country is democratic? These rights should not be monopolized by the US and its few allies. For us, a key criterion is whether the country can meet people's expectations, needs and aspirations. In this sense, Chinese democracy is people's democracy while the U.S.' is money democracy; the Chinese people enjoy substantial democracy while Americans have democracy only in form; China has a whole-process democracy while the U.S. has voting democracy that comes every four years.

"China's socialist democracy is whole-process and the most broad-based. It reflects people's will, suits China's realities and is acclaimed by the people. The Communist Party of China represents the fundamental interests of all the Chinese people. It has no special interests of its own and has never represented the interests of any interest group, group of power, or privileged class. China puts the people front and center. The fundamental criteria for assessing all the work we do is whether we can win people's backing, approval and endorsement, and make them satisfied. China strives to solve the most practical and immediate problems of the greatest concern to the people.

(Source: Global Times, August 12, 2021; See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 9511, The U.S. Military Withdrawal From Afghanistan – In Cartoons In Chinese Communist Party Media Outlets, August 24, 2021)

'The U.S. Has Been Seeing 'One Person, One Vote' As The Supreme Form Of Democracy, Which Is Very Narrow-Minded'

"All major legislative decisions in China are made in accordance with procedures, through democratic deliberation, and through scientific and democratic decision-making. For example, when formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government paid great attention to soliciting opinions from all sides. More than one million opinions and suggestions were collected online alone. Thanks to China's commitment to democracy of the people, the Chinese people have unleashed their amazing creativity and productivity, creating two miracles of rapid economic growth and long-term social stability in a huge country with a population of 1.4 billion. The Chinese people's satisfaction and approval rate of the Chinese government has been above 95% for years.

"But the U.S. has been seeing 'one person, one vote' as the supreme form of democracy, which is very narrow-minded. The U.S. elections, manipulated by interest groups, are money politics meaning 'no money, no votes.' Unlike the Communist Party of China that puts the interests of the country and the people first, American politicians put their votes first and focus on the votes four or even two years from now. When tens of thousands of American people are struggling against COVID-19, the two parties are attacking each other ferociously and putting their own political interests above people's life and health. The loss of more than 600,000 American lives still cannot awaken their conscience and responsibility.

'Ganging Up In The Name Of Democracy, Wantonly Interfering In Other Country's Internal Affairs' Is 'Undemocratic'

"Over the past thirty or forty years, the rich in the U.S. have become richer and the poor poorer. The top one percent own, govern and have it all. Is this democracy? People like George Floyd cannot breathe, gun violence runs rampant and racial discrimination and hate crimes are deeply entrenched. To whom the US belongs? Can the US government win support from half of its people? Which party in the US can represent the interests of all American people? American political scientist Francis Fukuyama recently wrote that the difference in COVID-19 response has shown limited state capacity, low social trust, poor political leadership and other signs of democratic deterioration. Look at the consequence of US promotion of the American democracy across the world. In which intervened country have the people enjoyed real peace, security, freedom and democracy? Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan?

"Democracy should be tangible rather than empty slogans. It should not become spiritual opium that fools or numbs the people, still less an excuse for attacking and smearing other countries and maintaining one's own hegemony. Ganging up in the name of democracy, wantonly interfering in other country's internal affairs and even arbitrarily suppressing normal development of other countries and people's legitimate right to better lives is more undemocratic than anything else. It is autocracy, hegemony and totalitarianism. Zaki Anwari's fallen, American myth down. More and more people are awakening."


[1], August 20, 2021.

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