On 15 December 2021, 42 Institutions (including the Council on Pacific Affairs) initiated the Beijing Initiative of Global Think Tank Network for Democracy Studies
At the International Forum on Democracy: the Shared Human Values in
Beijing, we had extensive discussions around the topic of democracy, hoping to better understand this shared human value and seek a path of mutual learning in this area.
Recognizing that democracy is a shared value of mankind and a key token of the development and progress of human civilization; and pursuing democracy is the sacred right of the people of all countries, who also have the right to choose their own path of democracy based on specific national conditions, history and culture;
Recognizing that the world today is faced with unprecedented major
challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and
sustainable development; the future of people in different countries has never been so closely linked; and mankind must pull together and press ahead together in solidarity and with wisdom;
Recognizing that pursuing peace and development is the common wish of people around the world that should be fully respected; and high-quality democratic governance should promote peace and development rather than create chaos and division.
Based on these unanimous views, the Global Think Tank Network for
Democracy Studies proposes the following four-point initiative:
Upholding and safeguarding democracy as a shared human value.
Democracy is a shared value and responsibility of the whole mankind that reflects people’s hope and aspiration and illuminates the way towards a brighter future for all. All parties should cherish and promote democracy, actively study and practice it, and let it lead the world to a brighter future.
Respecting diversity in models of civilization and democracy. Different civilizations coexist in this world, as do different models of democracy. There is always room for improving democratic systems. Humanity will never cease to explore new paths in its quest for greater democracy. We should respect other people’s choice of path, encourage exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations, and work together for greater human progress.
Evaluating democracy with facts and public satisfaction. Whether a model of democracy works should be measured against facts and public satisfaction.
A country’s path to democracy should be judged on whether the model suits its national conditions, follows the trend of the times, improves the economy and people’s wellbeing, brings social progress and stability, and has the people’s support.
Opposing the creation of confrontation and division in the name of democracy. We should champion the shared values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom. We oppose any attempt to split the world on an ideological basis in the name of promoting democracy, and we oppose the Cold War mindset that divides the world into camps and blocs. Instead, we must develop mechanisms, concepts and policies for global
cooperation that are more open and inclusive, so as to jointly safeguard world peace and stability and move towards a brighter future for mankind.