The Hangzhou Center for the Implementation of Whole-Process People’s Democracy has become a source of online mockery regarding China’s perceived lack of democracy. Whole-process people’s democracy is a term used by the Party to describe the decision-making aspects of China’s government, which they believe to be a more advanced form of democracy compared to Western electoral systems. Coined by Xi Jinping in 2019, whole-process people’s democracy has now entered mainstream political discourse in 2021 and is heavily featured in Chinese propaganda and online jokes. The recently established Hangzhou center has provided ample material for these jokes, especially with its virtual reality exhibit that allows visitors to “experience” being a delegate at the Zhejiang People’s Congress. A video of the VR experience shared on Douyin, the sister app of TikTok, shows attendees choosing virtual avatars, receiving a “delegate’s badge,” standing in front of the provincial congress building, and then sitting attentively in the congress hall with their eyes fixed on the leaders on stage.
People online quickly caught onto the ironic nature of the VR democracy simulation. A popular joke among them was “virtual democracy is essentially just democracy.” Another suggestion was to name the VR experience after Shen Jilan, a reference to the Chinese politician who was chosen to be a member of the National People’s Congress every year of her life and was notorious for never voting “no,” a rare occurrence even among China’s heavily regulated parliament members. Additional jokes from netizens, shared in the comment section of the video on Douyin, followed a similar theme of humor.
I understand now. The entire procedure is done online 👍👍
I would like to know the cost of a set for each Party building activity room.
This is so funny, I’m laughing so hard.
We need to expand this to all rural areas, bringing virtual democracy to the countryside.
The term “experience” is crucial. While you may be able to describe a barbecue dinner, it is not the same as actually tasting one.
Allow individuals to have a sense of involvement.
Great job, they have effectively communicated the message.