Illustrating the country's slide into Orwellian totalitarianism, China's communist party has been holding "democratic life meetings" that are the antithesis of democracy: attendees pledge loyalty to the undisputed leadership of Xi Jinping and repent of any ideological deviation from Xi's thoughts.
A central "democratic life meeting" for the Politburo was held by Comrade Xi on December 25-26, 2017 to study "Xi Jinping's Thought for Socialism With Chinese Characteristics in a New Era." The Politburo pledged to preserve the centralized authority of Comrade Xi Jinping as core leader of the central communist party committee and to fully implement each item decided by the 19th party congress.
The December meeting is a model for lower levels of the communist party. On February 2 the communist party organization of China's Ministry of Agriculture held a "democratic life meeting" chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Party Secretary Han Changfu where attendees made the same pledge of fealty to Comrade Xi's centralized authority and to study and implement his thoughts. The "democratic life" meetings demand unity of thought, constant display of party loyalty, honesty, and clear direction. At the Ministry of Agriculture meeting, party members resolved to rely on Xi's thought to direct work on rural affairs and agriculture.
The "democratic" meetings also serve as a means of ensuring complete devotion and ideological purity. In an echo of China's "cultural revolution" era, the Ministry's meeting demanded that attendees seed out problems, engage in self criticism, and criticize each other. Officials were ordered to dig deep to examine ideological roots, criticize others to really help them, "don't hide or avoid," and reach unity through criticism.
According to a Chinese-language Wikipedia page, the "democratic life meetings" are internal meetings for dialogue and self-criticism that date back to at least 1990. Xi Jinping revived the meetings in 2013 as part of his anticorruption campaign.
Now, it seems, "democracy" means pledging complete loyalty to a "President-for-life" and helping comrades root out any doubts they may have about totalitarian rule and a personality cult.