Possessing a long history in Chinese culture, “people-oriented” thought is the most brightest pearl in thousand-year Chinese political tradition.
During the period of Xia, Shang, Zhou, people no longer believed in spirits, but realized the power of human being gradually.
According to Shangshu (the book of history),“people are the basics of the country and people consolidate the peace of the country.”
This is the origin of ancient Chinese “people-oriented” thought, which enjoys a history of four thousand years.
In the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period，“people-oriented” thought is further explained and developed by Confucianism.
From the respecting only Confucianism by Emperor WU of Han Dynasty, “people-oriented” thought has been pursued by ancient Chinese rulers.
Chinese “people-oriented” thought means “people is the orientation” in politics. It contains three concepts specifically:
First, “setting the monarch for the people”. The power of country and emperor comes from people.
Second, “people are the foundation of a country”. The basic of a steady country is people.
Third, “love people and support people”. The objective of governor is to make people live a better life.
“People-oriented” thought is not only a kind of political ideology in ancient China, but a moral principle.
It could be used to deal with political issues, demonstrate moral pursuit of “benevolence”, which is a materialization of ancient Chinese’s fundamental moral pursuit in politics.
Although the traditional idea of "people-oriented" thought is not exactly equivalent to modern "democracy", they have important commonalities.
Nowadays, the democracy we advocate is socialist democracy.
Its core is the people are masters of the country, emphasizing people’s interest as start point and stance of all work, which demonstrates noble moral pursuit of “supreme of people’s interest” and “value public opinion” in “people-oriented” thought.
Nowadays, China is taking the socialistic road of Chinese characteristics, conducting a new type of democratic system, which is comprehensive innovation on the basics of Marxist view of democracy and traditional Chinese “people-oriented” thought.
“People-oriented” thought possess referential significance in at least the following aspects:
First, governing for people. People are the foundation of a country and basic of governance, so governor must listen to people’s opinion.
Second, enrich the people and benefit the people. Only when people have a rich life without the concern of basic living stuff, could they support governor sincerely.
Third, win trust from people. Honesty is the most indispensable resource for a country.
Fourth, open channels for people to make comments. It is significant traits of modern democratic politics to publicize political affair and enhance supervision by public opinions.
Even though “people-oriented” thought comes from ancient China, it is an excellent Chinese political tradition, the final objective of political activity and foundation of governance.
Nowadays, “people-oriented” thought still possesses significant contemporary value, which is important resource of democracy in socialist core values and worth absorbing and reference.