Unstated Rules for Appointing Officials in the Government

What are the unstated rules for appointing in the government? The following blog entry has been posted and reposted in over four hundred Chinese BBS and blogs, such as this one. Excerpts translated by CDT:

Government officials often state in public that their criteria for selecting officials are “appointing people on their merit.” Yet in the real world this is not the case.

I met a retired government official from Anhui Province during a train trip. He told me the rules commonly adopted in officialdom in China, which quite enlightened me.

He said the top criterion is “appointing people on the superior’s instruction.” It means you should appoint whomever your superior asks you to appoint, otherwise you might get into trouble if your superior’s unhappy.

The second criterion is “appointing people from your gang.” Nowadays officialdom is highly competitive and complicated. If you don’t have any buddy around to help you, you’d soon be kicked out, not to mention not able to do your work.

The third one is “appointing people on money.” Money is more important than kinfolk. After all, a relative is someone else, yet money is in your own pocket.

The fourth in the rank is “the ability to flatter.” Now that you’ve stabilized your official position and seized a lot of money, you can enjoy being flattered by appointing some kiss-asses around you. The ass-kissing is actually an art. And you’ll find yourself addicted to it.

The fifth is “appointing on the ability to brag.” The retired official said the GDP growth in his region had all been exaggerated. Every year when it’s time to report the annual GDP, no one wants to be the first to report. Why? If you report your growth as 11%, the one that follows you to report can say 11.5%, which surpasses you on the performance. Your superior would like a fast-growing GDP, yet you can’t exaggerate too unreasonably, otherwise it’d embarrass your superior. Of course you can’t report the GDP as it is as you’d be viewed as dragging your superior’s performance.

The sixth is “appointing people on kinship.” Now everything is settled, you can take care of your relatives.

The seventh is “appointing people on their merit.” But remember you can’t be picky no matter how competent you are. You can’t always speak out your second thought or against the superior’s plan. If you always stick to your own plan instead of following your superior’s instruction, you’d be dismissed. Who cares whether you’re capable or not.

October 31, 2009 9:45 PM
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