Individual participation espouses similarities and differences in China and Peru despite the diversity in government systems. Individual participation is a prerequisite of good governance and an ingredient of economic empowerment (Schuster, 2001). Individual participation promotes democracy through; efforts of self-help, growth of societal centered institutions as well as promotion of power balance in terms of gender, education, ethnic background, race and social class. The value of participation however has not been realized in Peru and China due to the lack of proper political institutions that promote participation. Indeed, the leadership of these two countries have for long times in the past associated with totalitarian rule or tyranny, with the views of the citizens suppressed to the minimum for fear of uprising against the government.
Though Peru is fast smarting from the dictates of totalitarian rule, China's communist approach is yet to be deluded and the prevalent use of the one party system has ensured that participation is very little in the scope of the political arena. However, though the approach adopted by the Chinese Government which incorporates the views of the citizens in their policy formulation replicates the maxims of participation, it as yet cannot be termed as participation per-se. the reasoning behind this is that the government policies do not articulate the views of the peasants or the middlemen rather they recognize the capitalist ruling elite views in the orients of the economic pursuits of their own or for China. In addition, the military has all along played a vital role in quelling and silencing the citizens as extrapolated by the manner in which demonstrations, protests and other uprisings aimed at questioning the government policies have been suppressed all along.
To begin with, the political landscape of these countries has in the past been shrouded in totalitarian rule. Peru has in the past experienced a lengthy timeline rule of dictators who ascended to power not through popular vote but through military or civilian coups. In China, the election of the President to the PRC is as yet to involve all the individuals because it is carried by the CCP congress on behalf of the people. Basically there has never been any chance of the people's choice being in power due to these disparities in these two countries. The policies of General Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru during his military rule of 1968-1980 are similar to the policies of the Chinese government in terms of citizen participation in protest and demonstrations and also in the voting system which was generally oblique during Velasco rule and in China (Barry, 1999). However, there has been a surge of democracy in modern times with the just concluded primary elections in Peru protracting the growth of democracy and citizen participation in Peru.
The 2011 elections have been characterized by fairness, transparency and freedom of choice. John Quigley of the Bloomberg magazine observes that voting has been open and no coercion whatsoever has been experienced in favor of any candidate (Quigley, 2011). This totally contradicts the situation in China where the government has had to quell protest through use of force in the advent of the recent upheavals in Africa and Middle East, a practice well established since the Tiananmen Square incident. The escalating calls for a Jasmine Revolution- similar to the Tunisian experience have been met with total opposition from the government and planned protests quelled through the use of excessive force (Jiangtao, 2011). This shows how much the Chinese government is not prepared to go the democratic way and values their own power, unlike Peru which has adopted democracy and given the power back to their people. It in fact calls to mind the Tiananmen Square incident in which unarmed students were massacred for challenging the government policies.
The participation of citizens ought to be experienced in all governance aspects as well as the economic arena. Despite the disparities in the models of government, the citizens have espoused a great determination to move the economy forward. Mining and coca agriculture in Peru have been the mainstay of the economy. Albeit State dominance in dictating policies, Chinese citizens have seen tremendous investment in the foreign market characterized by increasing exports even to the much adored American market. However, their discontent over the local governments are well documented and replicate just how much the citizens desire to be co-opted into the government. The Chinese government has done very well in incorporating the civil society into their government, fledging the status of the associations and when need be it has resorted to the extremes of oppression all to defend their model of governance. On the other hand, Peru projects a time of improved citizen participation buoyed by the onset of democracy and the establishment of institutions that appreciate the essence of contribution of citizens.
Citizen participation involves the concerted and successful input of the individual in matters of policing and governance. Citizen participation is achieved through voting, active roles in the election or referendum processes which eventually shape the policy ideals adopted by the government as much as shaping the government. The citizens views incorporated in the day to day running of the government and replicated in the resultant governance ethics show successful participation. Once governments are in place, incorporating the individuals views can be achieved through contact to the individuals as well as the use of representatives. The citizens can also push for inclusion through pressurizing the government either individually or in groups whereas the government can invite the participation of citizens in issues of governance and decision making.