Civil Service of the People's Republic of China

The Civil Service of the People's Republic of China is the administrative system of the traditional Chinese government which consists of all levels who run the day-to-day affairs in China. The members of the civil service are selected through competitive examination.

As of 2009, China has about 10 million civil servants who are managed under the Civil Service Law.[1] Most civil servants work in government agencies and departments. State leaders and cabinet members, who normally would be considered politicians in political systems with competing political parties and elections, also come under the civil service in China. Civil servants are not necessarily members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but 95 percent of civil servants in leading positions from division (county) level and above are CCP members.[1]

HistoryEdit

A professional corps of dedicate bureaucrats, akin to a modern civil service, has been an integral feature of governance in Chinese civilization for much of its history. Part of the motivation was ideological; Confucian teaching discouraged overly involved, warlike, and rowdy rulers alike, making the delegation of legislative and executive authority particularly necessary.[2] During the Zhou dynasty (c. 1046 – 256 BC), records show that kings would send edicts encouraging local officials to identify promising candidates for office in the capital.[3] This practice was intensified under Emperor Wu of Han (r. 141 – 87 BC), who standardized the selection process with the addition of question-and-answer elements on classic texts judged by a panel of scholars.[3] This helped lay the groundwork for the Imperial examination system that would be formed under the short-lived Sui dynasty before being widely adopted thereafter.[4] The examination system and the bureaucracy it engendered would remain in place in some form until the dissolution of the Qing dynasty in 1911.[5]

Mao-era cadresEdit

The People's Republic of China did not initially maintain a formal civil service like other countries of the era.[6] As the CCP gained ground in the Chinese Civil War against the Kuomintang (KMT), it instead used dedicated Party cadres to oversee and administer territories it took over. The CCP, at the time of its victory in 1949, faced a serious shortage of qualified personnel to the fill over 2.7 million public positions needed to govern the country that had previously been occupied by KMT-affiliated officials, some of whom the Party had to allow to continue to work due to lack of suitable replacements.[7] By the mid-1950s, China had developed a nomenklatura system modeled on the Soviet Union; there was no civil service independent of the ruling party.[8]

ReformEdit

Following the death of Mao Zedong and the rise of reformist Deng Xiaoping, efforts began to change the cadre system after the discord of the Cultural Revolution so that the Party would be able to effectively carry out the modernization of China.[9] Reforms beginning in 1984 did not decrease the approximately 8.1 million cadre positions[10] across China, but began to decentralize their management to authorities at provincial and local levels.[11]

Zhao Ziyang, elected General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in 1987, sought to transform the cadre system into a more independent body resembling a civil service.[12] The civil service not completely subservient to the CCP, and thus reform the relationship between the Party and the Chinese state.[13] In the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Zhao and his allies lost their influence among Party elite and the civil service reform project was denounced by remaining leaders.[14] Zhao's proposals were subsequently heavily modified and implemented as the "Provisional Regulations on State Civil Servants" in 1993, albeit on a much less comprehensive scale.[15]

Nevertheless, the Provisional Regulations established the first formal civil service in China since the founding of the People's Republic.[16]

DefinitionEdit

The definition of civil servant (Chinese: 公务员; pinyin: gōngwùyuán), a term formally codified in the 2006 Civil Service Law is often ambiguous in China.[17] Most broadly, civil servants in China are a subset of CCP cadres, the class of professional staff who administer and manage Chinese government, party, military, and major business institutions.[18] More specifically, the term denotes public employees in higher positions of authority; according to Yuenyuen Ang, they "form the elite strata of functionaries in the party-state hierarchy", in contrast to shiye renyuan (事业人员) or 'shiye' personnel, who are also public employees but are not considered gongwuyuan.[19]

The definition of the civil service differs from that of many western countries. Civil servants are "the managers, administrators and professionals who work for government bodies," including leadership such as the Premier, state councillors, ministers, and provincial governors, among others.[20] It excludes manual workers and many other types of cadre, such as those employed in public service units such as hospitals, universities, or state-owned enterprises, even though those positions are also paid and managed by the government.[20] While not strictly part of the civil service, the judiciary is governed by the same personnel arrangements as the civil service.[21]

Levels and ranking systemEdit

The current ranking system has 27 different ranks (from previously of total 15 levels) and a grade (dangci) system within each rank (at most 14 grades for each rank) to reflect seniority and performance; a combination of rank and dangci ultimately determine pay and benefits.[22]

The 27 ranks are sub-divisions of 11 "levels".[23][22] The following is a non-exhaustive list of party and state positions corresponding to their civil service rank. The list only comprises "leadership positions" (lingdao ganbu), but not civil servants who are not in leadership positions. Non-leading civil servants can be given high corresponding ranks. For example, an expert or advisor hired by the government on a long-term initiative does not manage any people or lead any organization, but may still receive a sub-provincial rank. Similarly, retired officials who take on lesser-ranked (usually ceremonial) positions after retirement would generally retain their highest rank. Occasionally, officials may hold a position but be of a higher rank than what the position indicates, for example a Deputy Prefecture-level Party Secretary who holds a full prefecture-level rank.

Level Rank Level name Party positions Government positions
1 1 to 3 National leader
(国家级正职)
2 4 to 6 Sub-national leader
(国家级副职)
3 7 to 8 Provincial-Ministerial level
(省部级正职)
  • Provincial Governor (Mayor of a direct-controlled Municipality, Chairman of an Autonomous Region)
  • Ministers of the State Council
  • Commissioners or Directors of agencies that directly report to the State Council, such as the National Development and Reform Commission
  • Chair of a Provincial-level People's Congress
  • Chair of a Provincial-level People's Political Consultative Conference
  • General Managers of key state-owned enterprises deemed to be "ministerial-level"
  • Chair of national civic organizations such as the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, All-China Women's Federation, etc.
4 9 to 10 Sub-Provincial (Sub-Ministerial) level
(省部级副职)
  • Deputy Secretary of Party Committees of Provinces, Autonomous Regions, Direct-controlled Municipalities
  • Standing Committee Members of provincial-level Party Committees
  • Secretary of Party Committees of Sub-provincial cities
  • Deputy leaders of bodies reporting directly to the Central Committee, such as the General Office, International Liaison, United Front, Organization, Propaganda, Politics-Law, Central Party School
  • Party Secretary of key universities, such as Peking University
  • Deputy Governor (Autonomous Region Chairman, Mayor)
  • Deputy Ministers of the State Council
  • Deputy Commissioners or Directors of agencies that directly report to the State Council
  • Vice Chair of a Provincial-level People's Congress
  • Vice Chair of a Provincial-level People's Political Consultative Conference
  • President of key universities, such as Tsinghua University
5 11 to 12 Bureau-Director level
(厅局级正职)
  • Party Secretary of Prefecture-level cities and divisions
  • Deputy Party Secretary of Sub-provincial cities
  • Standing Committee members of Sub-provincial cities
  • Heads of provincial party organizations (Organization, Propaganda, United Front, etc.)
  • Party Secretary of provincially run universities, such as Hubei University
  • Mayor of Prefecture-level cities
  • Vice Mayor of Sub-provincial cities
  • Directors (ministers) of provincial departments
  • Chairs of provincial civil organizations (Unions, Women's Federation etc.)
  • Directors of departments of national-level ministries
  • Chair of Prefecture-level People's Congress
  • Chair of Prefecture-level People's Political Consultative Conference
  • President of provincially run universities, such as Shanxi University
6 13 to 14 Deputy-Bureau-Director level
(厅局级副职)
  • Vice Mayor of Prefecture-level cities
  • Vice Chair of Prefecture-level People's Congress
  • Vice Chair of Prefecture-level People's Political Consultative Conference
  • Deputy Chairs of provincial civil organizations (Unions, Women's Federation etc.)
  • Deputy directors (ministers) of provincial departments
7 15 to 16 Division-Head level
(县处级正职)
  • Party Secretary of Counties or County-level cities
  • Party Secretary of Districts of Prefecture-level cities
  • Heads of prefecture-level party organizations (Organization, Propaganda, United Front, etc.)
  • County Governors
  • Governor of Districts of Prefecture-level cities
  • Mayor of County-level cities
  • Chair of County-level People's Congress
  • Chair of County-level People's Political Consultative Conference
  • Heads of sub-divisions of a provincial department
8 17 to 18 Deputy-Division-Head level
(县处级副职)
  • Deputy Party Secretary of Counties or County-level cities
  • Deputy Party Secretary of Districts of Prefecture-level cities
  • Standing Committee members of County-level Party Committees
  • Deputy County Governors
  • Vice Mayor of County-level cities
  • Vice Chair of County-level People's Congress
  • Vice Chair of County-level People's Political Consultative Conference
9 19 to 20 Section-Head level
(乡科级正职)
  • Party Secretary of Towns or Townships
  • Heads of county-level party organizations (Organization, Propaganda, United Front, etc.)
  • Magistrate of Townships (Mayor of Towns)
  • Chair of Township-level People's Congress
  • Chair of Township-level People's Political Consultative Conference
  • Heads of sub-divisions of a prefecture-level department
10 21 to 22 Deputy-Section-Head level
(乡科级副职)
  • Deputy Party Secretary or Standing Committee member of Towns or Townships
  • Deputy heads of county-level party organizations (Organization, Propaganda, United Front, etc.)
  • Deputy Magistrate of Towns or Townships
  • Vice Chair of Township-level People's Congress
  • Vice Chair of Township-level People's Political Consultative Conference
11 23 to 24 Section member
(科员)
  • Staff subordinate to a section-head
  • Heads party organizations of township-level divisions
  • Staff subordinate to a section-head
  • Head of local departments of towns and townships, such as a town police chief of financial secretary
N/A 25 to 27 Ordinary Staff
  • Any unranked person
  • Village Party Branch Secretary
  • Any unranked person
  • Village chief

State Administration of Civil ServiceEdit

The State Administration of Civil Service was created in March 2008 by the National People's Congress. It is under the management of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, which resulted from the merger of the Ministry of Personnel and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. The function of the administration covers management, recruitment, assessment, training, rewards, supervision and other aspects related to civil service affairs. The administration also has several new functions. These include drawing up regulations on the trial periods of newly enrolled personnel, further protecting the legal rights of civil servants and having the responsibility of the registration of civil servants under central departments. Its establishment was part of the government's reshuffle in 2008. It aimed at a "super ministry" system to streamline government department functions.

Salary and allowancesEdit

There are three main components of civil service pay according to the 2006 pay regulation by the State Council of the People's Republic of China, namely base pay (基本工资), cost-of-living allowances (津补贴), and bonus (奖金).[24]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "China's Civil Service Reform: An Update" (PDF). East Asian Institute at National University of Singapore. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Keay, John (2009). China: A History. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02518-3. p. 128
  3. ^ a b Keay 2009, p. 129.
  4. ^ Keay 2009, pp. 227-28.
  5. ^ David Castrillon, "The abolition of the imperial examination system and the Xinhai revolution of 1911." Asia Pacificio, (2012) Online(2012).
  6. ^ Lee, Hong Yung (1990). From Revolutionary Cadres to Party Technocrats in Socialist China. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520303072. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  7. ^ Lee 1990, p. 48: "Despite the heavy reliance on military personnel, the CCP encountered a keen shortage of qualified personnel to fill 2.7 million positions when the People's Republic of China was founded. The problem was particularly serious at the local level."
  8. ^ Burns, John P. (September–October 1987). "Reforming China's Bureaucracy, 1979-82" (PDF). Problems of Communism. 36 (5): 36–51.
  9. ^ Burns 1987, p. 37.
  10. ^ Burns 1987, p. 46.
  11. ^ Burns 1987, p. 38.
  12. ^ Lam, Tao-chiu; Chan, Hon S. (August 1996). "Reforming China's Cadre Management System: Two Views of a Civil Service". Asian Survey. 36 (8): 772–786. doi:10.2307/2645438. JSTOR 2645438.
  13. ^ Lam & Chan 1996, pp. 772-73.
  14. ^ Lam & Chan 1996, p. 777.
  15. ^ Lam & Chan 1996, pp. 780-781.
  16. ^ Chan, Hon S.; Li, Edward Suizhou (2007). "Civil Service Law in the People's Republic of China: A Return to Cadre Personnel Management". Public Administration Review. 67 (3): 383–398. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6210.2007.00722.x. ISSN 0033-3352. JSTOR 4624581.
  17. ^ Ang, Yuen Yuen (September 2012). "Counting Cadres: A Comparative View of the Size of China's Public Employment". The China Quarterly. 211: 679. doi:10.1017/S0305741012000884. hdl:2027.42/111822. S2CID 15724765.
  18. ^ Burns, John P. (2007). "Civil Service Reform in China" (PDF). OECD Journal of Budgeting. 7 (1): 1–25. doi:10.1787/budget-v7-art3-en., p. 22.
  19. ^ Ang 2012, p. 679.
  20. ^ a b Burns 2007, p. 3.
  21. ^ Burns 2007, p. 5.
  22. ^ a b "China's Attempt to Professionalize Its Civil Service" (PDF). East Asian Institute at National University of Singapore. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  23. ^ "中国正部级干部有多少?正部 副部级待遇揭秘". danjian.cn. Archived from the original on 2015-02-10.
  24. ^ Wu, Alfred M. (2014). Governing civil service pay in China (1st ed.). Retrieved January 23, 2015.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit