Saturday, June 22, 2024

Making Civil Servants Bow To Xi Thought In China

As part of ensuring the loyalty of all citizens to the Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping, China refreshes the commitment of its civil servants by holding training sessions to re-inculcate the principle of blind loyalty to the party.

The idea is to see that the civil servants are well-versed with the principles surrounding the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. The Thought has been made the “main and required course across the different training programs for civil servants, and as the content of civil servants’ learning center to educate and guide civil servants to consciously become firm believers and faithful practitioners of the Party’s innovative theory in the new era, so that they can strengthen the four consciousnesses, four self-confidences and achieve two safeguards.”

A statement from the party said: “All civil servants receive ideological education and training in Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era through different forms and systems.”

In China, every year, around 200,000 outstanding talents from various fields are recruited into the civil service. By the end of 2021, 30.1% of the national civil servants were 35 years of age or younger, and 78.8% had a bachelor’s degree or above, an increase of 2.2 percentage points and 6.9 percentage points from 2017, respectively. Shanghai, Zhejiang, Qingdao, Chengdu, and other places have explored the establishment of a market-based selection mechanism to target high-level professionals in financial management, digital economy, smart cities, and village and town planning.

Every year, once the new civil servant recruits enter the system, they are expected to start a life-long exercise to be loyal to the party and the leadership. The statement said: “The more than six million CCP members across the civil service have received a comprehensive spiritual baptism, have built the foundation of faith, supplemented the spiritual calcium, stabilized the rudder of thought, and constantly improved their political judgment, understanding, and execution.”

On the party’s control over the civil service, the statement said: “The Third Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee called for strengthening the party’s centralised and unified leadership over the civil servants; through the Plan for Deepening the Reform of Party and State Institutions, it was clear that the Central Organization Department would manage civil servants’ work in a unified manner.”

On the morning of April 20, 2018, on West Chang’an Avenue in Beijing, a simple and solemn ceremony for the listing of the National Civil Service Bureau was held at the Organization Department of the Central Committee, marking a historical change in the civil servant management system.

The unified management of civil servants by the Organization Department of the Central Committee is conducive to better implementing the principle of the party’s control of cadres. It gives better play to the party’s political and organizational advantages in the work of civil servants. “After the adjustment of the civil service management system, organization departments at all levels have insisted on promoting the construction of the civil servants’ teams from the perspective of the overall situation of the Party’s cadre work, realising an effective connection in terms of the selection and training of cadres, maintaining the connection of policies, forming work synergy, and improving the overall efficiency.”

The government has prioritized political standards “in terms of all aspects related to the civil service – the examination, selection, transfer, appointment, etc. Politically unqualified candidates are being vetoed.”

Chinese bureaucracy also practices a system of post-categorization for civil servants that ensures there is no scope for questioning the leadership at any level of the bureaucracy. That means the posts held by civil servants shall, according to their natures and characteristics and the need of management, be categorized as general management, professional and technical expertise, enforcement of laws and government regulations, etc. The State shall prescribe the scope of application for different categories of posts. Where a post necessitates separate management due to its specific characteristics, a new category for such post may be established under this law.

The government has also deepened bureaucratic reforms to streamline administrative approval, delegate power to lower levels, and improve regulations and services. The CCP links civil servants’ performance and loyalty to the country’s development.

Premier Li Keqiang was recently quoted saying, “We continue to deepen reforms related to ‘streamlining administration, delegating power, strengthening regulation and improving services to enhance the endogenous power of development. The two complement each other, which is an important measure to cope with the impact and continuously push the economy forward. We adhere to the reform of ‘streamlining administration, delegating power, strengthening regulation and improving services to solve development problems and optimize the business environment….and improve the macro-policy efficiency, and help all kinds of market players through the direct mechanism of tax refund, tax reduction, and fee reduction.”

Author profile
Pia Sherman

Pia Sherman is a freelance writer. Views expressed are solely of the author.

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