The white paper emphasizes the dominant role of the Communist Party in the Chinese political system, while stressing the importance of political consultation between Party and non-Party members closely allied with Party goals, including members from China's eight minor "democratic" parties.
The white paper is the latest in a series of Party and
government directives that emphasize the importance of increased participation
and consultation between Party and non-Party members, under Party control, as a
means to improve national governance.
The white paper tracks closely in content with a central Party directive issued in 2006 that emphasized the importance of expanding the consultative role of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in order to enhance the Party's own ability to govern. The CPPCC is a Party-led "united front" organization that includes Party members, Party mass organizations, and non-Party members closely allied with Party goals, including members from China's eight minor "democratic" parties.
Chinese government and Party leaders seek to strategically use methods such as political consultation with selected non-Party groups and individuals, and institutions such as the CPPCC. These are aimed at addressing mounting social unrest and popular grievances by creating additional channels for political participation, but without compromising on core principles of one-Party control.
Some Chinese scholars have questioned the practical impact of these efforts. A November 16 South China Morning Post article cites Mao Shoulong, a political scientist at Renmin University, as noting that the white paper was mainly a response to overseas criticism, and that despite a rising number of non-Communists taking up government posts in recent years, there hasn't been any fundamental change in government leadership.