In the past, official selection put strong emphasis on educational history, and not on actual capabilities of potential cadres. However, statements from officials like Wang Yang, Secretary of the CCP’s Guangdong Committee, have indicated a new direction in cadre selection. In April of last year, Wang said that “the key to executing the scientific development perspective lies in people, specifically, whom to use and whom to eliminate … what’s most important is this: for those who are adept in scientific development, let them ascend; for those who do not understand scientific development, let them in; for those who obstruct scientific development, let them drop.”
A new trial exam in Guangdong that was implemented at the end of August tested examinees on practical government applications. One official described the exam, saying that “You don’t need to review for this test! You don’t need to mechanically memorize anything! What you do is what you’ll be tested on; let those who do well test well!”
Test topics included questions on Internet governance, proper perspective of government achievements, change in modes of economic development, and how to be a good “assistant.” According to news reports, the approximately 20-day period of examination and evaluation has recently concluded with the selection of 38 deputy cadres.
An excerpt from a report by Time Weekly‘s Han Honggang and Gao Xingxiang [CN]. Translated by CDT:
At the end of August, Guangdong Provincial Committee would once again start a new 1-month process of “official selection.” Thirty-eight deputy posts were available, and 1745 cadres participated [in the examination], with the youngest participant being only 32-years-old. The ratio of those vying for positions to available positions was 45:1. On September 1, quality (素质) tests were held at Huanan Normal University. Test questions were created by leading cadres from the Central Committee’s testing center. Internet governance, proper perspective of government achievements, changes in modes of economic development, how to be a good “assistant,” and other topics constituted the exam questions’ content.
The majority of examinees left the testing site only once exams were collected. Most of the testees said that the questions tested on actual ability. The topics were closely related to actual work and were not particularly difficult, although responding to them well was not easy.
“The internet governance topic was too hard,” said one cadre from the Provincial Department of Culture. After he had completed a series of true-false, multiple choice and discussion essay questions, he had already used up quite a bit of his allotted 90 minutes. Suddenly, he came across the internet governance question and did not know what to write. He said that he used to think that internet governance was a situation dealt with by higher level leaders, and that he himself did not think about the topic much. After taking this test and seeing his own weakpoints, he understands that he needs a stronger approach.
Head of Huanan Normal University’s Human Resource Management Research Institute, Chen Xinmin, was an exam grader. He spoke to Time Weekly reporters: “One of this test’s distinctive features was its very strong direction. It emphasized strong practical experience and management experience, which was very clear in the test’s latter three case topics.”