China claims its authoritarian one-party system is a democracy — and one that works better than the US

The country’s rulers have made the accusation before. Now, they’re defending their system in response to Donald Trump’s criticism of the way it operates

China claims its authoritarian one-party system is a democracy — and one that works better than the US

Chinese leaders have accused Donald Trump of being nothing more than a campaign manager who doesn’t know how to lead and offering too little insight into a country which, they argue, is superior to the US.

At a high-level working meeting on Tuesday, the Chinese state council presided over by President Xi Jinping assessed the performance of the Communist party and four areas of policy in 2017, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The way to politics: Xi Jinping in discussion with Nikkei regional boss Takahide Kiuchi and board member Kazuyuki Yamashita. Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Images

The ruling party is “more efficient and a better performing democratic party” than the US, Han Zheng, a member of the central committee of the party’s central committee, told the meeting, also attended by Xi and the premier, Li Keqiang.

“There is ample evidence of our system of developing a permanent population and that results in a ‘one-party system’ being a ‘world-class democracy’, and our political governance being a system of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’,” he said.

“In contrast to the US, Chinese society is far from needing any US-style democracy. Instead of resorting to using vulgar arguments and nonsensical theories, it should instead practise the principles of party’s organisation.”

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“Trump is both a campaign manager and a president but at least as his predecessors, he can’t solve complex problems in politics,” Han said.

Han said the US and China should find areas of common interests, including economic development, but stressed that China and the US should maintain a healthy and stable political and economic development.

Trump has infuriated China’s leaders this year by raising the possibility of a trade war over the country’s rising trade surplus with the US and its self-proclaimed “massive” military build-up.

On Tuesday, Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, criticised China for using geo-political threats against US allies, including Japan and India.

Trump’s strategy of “containing China” threatened US allies by attempting to tilt the international order in China’s favour, she told a major Washington thinktank.

“It’s not something I’m going to tolerate, and our allies are no different,” Haley said.

“They shouldn’t be weak because of who we are.”

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