The CCP’s meritocratic cadre system

Authored by: Akio Takahara

Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Communist Party

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138684430
eBook ISBN: 9781315543918
Adobe ISBN:


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A key to understanding China is to understand its bureaucracy. On top of the world’s oldest bureaucratic tradition, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that came to power in 1949 has developed an extensive network of party organizations and cadres that reaches almost every nook and corner of the country. To this day, party and government cadres enjoy outstanding power and authority in society. In addition, under the planning system, all the non-political organizations and their staff, including for example universities and their professors or enterprises and their clerks, were stratified in parallel with the bureaucratic hierarchy. Compared to other societies, a prominent characteristic of Chinese society is the high degree to which it is bureaucratized.

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