Cadre system of the Communist Party of China
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The cadre system of the Chinese Communist Party entails the methods and institutions employed by
Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" , seats1_title = National People's Congress (13th National People's Congress, 13th) , seats1 = , seats2_title = Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, NPC Standing ...
(CCP) to train, organize, appoint, and oversee personnel to fulfill a wide range of
civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leaders ...
-type roles in Party, state, military, business, and other organizations across the country. The system is composed of the several million full-time, professional staff, the cadres ( zh, s=干部, t=幹部, p=gànbù). China is a
one-party state A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. ...
where the Communist Party serves as the sole legal authority over the country. The management of cadres is one of the ways the Party controls the state and influences wider society. Personnel must be loyal to the Communist Party, but are not always members themselves. Cadres are not only trained to be competent administrators, but also ideologically faithful to the Party and its pursuit of
Socialism with Chinese characteristics The theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics ( zh, s=中国特色社会主义, hp=Zhōngguó tèsè shèhuìzhǔyì) is a set of political theories and policies that are seen by their proponents as representing Marxism–Le ...
.


Definition

The word ''
cadre Cadre may refer to: *Cadre (military), a group of officers or NCOs around whom a unit is formed, or a training staff *Cadre (politics), a politically controlled appointment to an institution in order to circumvent the state and bring control to the ...
'' most broadly refers to the staff that are tasked with the management of state and/or party affairs. Based on the
Leninist Leninism is a political ideology developed by Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin that proposes the establishment of the Dictatorship of the proletariat#Vladimir Lenin, dictatorship of the proletariat led by a revolutionary Vanguardism ...
concept of
vanguardism In the context of the theory of Leninist Communist revolution, revolutionary struggle, vanguardism involves a strategy whereby the most class consciousness , class-conscious and politically "advanced" sections of the proletariat or working class, ...
, a cadre is a full-time, professional
revolutionary A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term ''revolutionary'' refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor. D ...
dedicated to the goals of a communist party, who works at the discretion of its leadership. This stands in contrast to ordinary members not involved in the running of the party on a day-to-day basis. The term was first used by the Chinese Communist Party at the 2nd National Congress of the Communist Party of China in July 1922. The term in Chinese today generally extends to any person in a position of certain authority or responsibility subject to CCP oversight, whether or not they are members of the Party. Professor John P. Burns of the
University of Hong Kong The University of Hong Kong (abbreviated as HKU) is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a ...

University of Hong Kong
defines a cadre as "the managers, administrators and professionals found in all sectors of the economy including enterprises, in administrative bodies including government, and in public service units." The definition of the term has broadened significantly since the first decade of the People's Republic of China, spanning from its highest leadership down to relatively low-level positions. Personnel in many positions of
state-owned enterprises A state-owned enterprise (SOE) or government-owned enterprise (GOE) is a business enterprise Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods a ...
and other government-affiliated institutions are also referred to as cadres. These individuals are generally paid by the state.


Typology

At the national level, cadres in China generally come from into one of six categories: * Leadership and staff of national bodies (e.g. government agencies,
National People's Congress The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China (), often referred to as the National People's Congress (NPC) (), is the highest organ of state power and the national legislature of the People's Republic of China ...
, etc.) * Leadership and staff of the Communist Party of China or affiliated democratic parties and their organs * Active-duty military personnel ranking
platoon A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two or more squads, sections, or patrols. Platoon organization varies depending on the country and the branch, but a platoon generally comprises 50 people, although specific platoons may ran ...
-level or higher (like a
political commissar In the military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members ident ...
) * Leadership and staff of social-political and mass organizations (e.g., the
All-China Women's Federation The All-China Women's Federation (ACWF; ) is a women's rights organization established in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, w ...

All-China Women's Federation
) * Professional and technical cadres (according to Zhong 2003, specialists such as "engineers, doctors, professors, and artists") * Management personnel in
state-owned enterprise A state-owned enterprise (SOE) or government-owned enterprise (GOE) is a business enterprise where the government or state has significant control through full, majority, or significant minority ownership. Defining characteristics of SOEs are ...
s or other public institutions


Leading cadres

An additional distinction is made in China between leading cadres () and non-leading cadres. This distinction was first articulated in civil service reforms starting in 1993. Leading cadre status is not dependent on rank, as many high-ranking cadres may nevertheless not be in what is considered a leading position. Leading cadre appointments are governed by the
Organization Department of the Chinese Communist Party The Organization Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party () is a human resource management department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party that controls staffing positions within the CCP. The Organiza ...
, whereas non-leading positions are generally managed by the personnel and human resources departments of their respective work units and organizations. Organization Department branches at all levels keep a "leading cadre reserve list" ( zh, s=领导干部候补名单, p=Lǐngdǎo gànbù hòubǔ míngdān) from which capable cadres may be selected to fill leading positions as they become vacant. These lists are maintained by the next-highest level Organization Department (that is, a township-level list would be maintained by the county-level Organization Department, and so on). While concise statistics are not published, Chan and Gao 2018 estimated that there were roughly two million leading cadres.


History


Pre-revolution

The Chinese Communist Party expanded rapidly in the initial years following its founding in 1921. After being driven back to
Yan'an Yan'an (; ) is a prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''already' ...
during the
Long March The Long March (, lit. ''Long Expedition'') was a military retreat undertaken by the Chinese Red Army, Red Army of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. ...
,
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the P ...

Mao Zedong
focused on consolidating and expanding the Party, whose membership had fallen from 300,000 to 40,000. Taking advantage of the
Second Sino-Japanese War The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. The war made up the Chinese theater of the wider Pacific War, Paci ...
, which commanded the majority of the ruling
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
's attention, the Party grew massively over the next several years as it entered Japanese-occupied territory and recruited there. It relied heavily on its
Red Army The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army,) frequently shortened to Red Army, was the army and air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established in Janu ...
to establish power in these liberated territories and identify outstanding activists for recruitment. By 1939, it controlled over 150 counties with a population of over 100 million. The Party's territorial growth necessitated more members to serve as cadres, and the Party accordingly relaxed somewhat its membership restrictions on intellectuals, former left-wing
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
officers, and others not of a purely working peasant background. Peasants and laborers, while forming the core ideological base of the Party, were largely illiterate and uneducated, and thus not well suited for the work of some higher-level cadre positions. Consequently, at the county level and above, the majority of cadres were composed of educated individuals. In contrast, branch and district Party cadres were overwhelmingly composed of local laborers and peasants, who knew local conditions well and could better form relationships with the community. Still, despite the need for some educated cadres, during the Civil War era, the Party focused mainly on recruiting peasants for
guerrilla warfare Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare Irregular warfare (IW) is defined in United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, ...
. Thus, among the cadres, ability to lead and command fighters was generally more important than ability to manage occupied areas. After the
Surrender of Japan File:Surrender of Japan - USS Missouri.jpg, upright=1.35, Representatives of the Empire of Japan stand aboard prior to signing of the Instrument of Surrender. The surrender of Imperial Japan was Jewel Voice Broadcast, announced by Japanese Emp ...
and the resumption of active hostilities in the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
, Party membership continued to swell as it further advanced against the Kuomintang, reaching three million members by 1948. Much of this growth was driven by the occupation of
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym for a historical and geographic region of Russia and China in Northeast Asia (mostly in Northeast China today). Its extent may vary depending on the context: * Modern geographical region: ** (most ofte ...

Manchuria
following Imperial Japan's withdrawal; the Party dispatched 100,000 troops and 20,000 cadres to establish control over the territory. While nationwide data does not exist on the breakdown of cadre versus non-cadre membership, it appears that a large number of Party members were considered cadres at that time. By the end of the Civil War, the Chinese Communist Party had established an organizational structure capable of governing the Party itself and the non-Party people and organizations it oversaw in occupied territories. Its focus, however, had been warfare, as opposed to statecraft, administration and economic development, and thus it soon faced a serious administrative manpower shortage.


Mao-era cadres

On 1 October 1949, having driven the Kuomintang out of Mainland China, Mao Zedong gave the
Proclamation of the People's Republic of China The founding of the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population ...
at
Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square or Tian'anmen Square (天安门, Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China, Taiwan (ROC), and Singapore. ...

Tiananmen Square
. The Communist Party at the time faced an acute shortage of qualified personnel to the fill over 2.7 million public positions needed to govern the country. By 1955, the CCP had established a system of appointments to fill positions modeled closely after the
nomenklatura The ''nomenklatura'' ( rus, номенклату́ра, p=nəmʲɪnklɐˈturə; la, nomenclatura) were a category of people within the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federal ...
system of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
. Due to the high demand for manpower, the Party was forced to rely on former Kuomintang officials to fill many of these positions as low-level, non-party cadres, which helped alleviate the shortage by 1952. By 1956, in part due to the
Three-anti and Five-anti Campaigns The Three-anti Campaign (1951) and Five-anti Campaign (1952) () were reform movements originally issued by Mao Zedong a few years after the founding of the People's Republic of China in an effort to rid Chinese cities of Political corruption, corr ...
, most of these former officials had been dismissed. The government of China in its early years also drew upon intellectuals (those with a high school or above education) to fill the gaps in its cadres. Older intellectuals were viewed as more susceptible to influences of bourgeois ideology, but their specialized skills make them useful. Younger intellectuals (new graduates around the time of the founding of the People's Republic) were similarly useful, and could claim they were less influenced by bourgeois thought than their older predecessors. Even so, Mao's eventually grew suspicious of this group, and he eventually initiated the Socialist Education Movement in 1963 to purge perceived intellectual reactionaries from cadre ranks. "Old cadres"—those who had joined the CCP before the founding of the People's Republic—maintained an outsize influence on governance in the years following 1949. They occupied the leadership positions of party committees at all levels, but were largely uneducated and lacked the administrative or other specialized skill of their ex-Kuomintang counterparts. Broadly speaking, party loyalty took precedence over educational background for the promotion of cadres to high-level administrative positions in Maoist China. A college education did not become necessary to attain such positions until after the death of Mao. During the
Cultural Revolution The Cultural Revolution, formally known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), com ...
, the general disorganization of the Party and China made limited any effective use of the system. Appointments to leadership positions became highly irregular, and the Central Organization Department was not mentioned in Chinese press at all from 1967 to 1972.


Reform era cadres

Following the death of Mao Zedong and the sidelining of
Hua Guofeng Hua Guofeng (; born Su Zhu; 16 February 1921 – 20 August 2008), alternatively spelled as Hua Kuo-feng was a Chinese politician who served as Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party and Premier of the People's Republic of China The premie ...

Hua Guofeng
, China began to embark upon a series of systemic economic reforms under
Deng Xiaoping Deng Xiaoping (22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997), also known by his courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in t ...

Deng Xiaoping
. By 1980, efforts began to re-institutionalize 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. These efforts particularly focused on a strengthened ideological education of cadres to reinforce understanding of their own role in the
mass line The mass line is the political, organizational and leadership method developed by Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party The Communist Party of China (CPC), commonly known as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and One-part ...
connecting the people and the Party. In August 1984, the system was reformed to decentralize authority, in part because the Central Organization Department was unable to keep up with the nearly 13,000 positions it was nominally in charge of. These reforms drastically reduced the number of positions on the central ''nomenklatura'', transferring their management to provincial authorities. In turn, these positions were further devolved to lower authorities. The total number of cadre positions—estimated at over 8.1 million in 1982 (cf. 6,932,000 in 2007 per Li 2007)—stayed the same, but overall control by local authorities increased.
Zhao Ziyang Zhao Ziyang ( zh, 赵紫阳; pronounced , 17 October 1919 – 17 January 2005) was a high-ranking politician in the People's Republic of China (PRC). He was the third premier of the People's Republic of China from 1980 to 1987, vice chairman ...
, elected
General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party The general secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party () is the paramount leader The paramount leader also named supreme leader () of the Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" ...
in January 1987, made a proposal for deep reform of the cadre system as a part of his address to the 13th Party Congress. Zhao sought to establish a more independent
civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leaders ...
not completely dependent upon the Communist Party, and thus reform the relationship between the Party and the Chinese state. Zhao envisioned a system wherein administrative cadres (i.e. civil servants) would be managed by their respective government bodies themselves, instead of the Organization Department of the Communist Party, which would in turn shift toward a research and policy-focused role as opposed to one of personnel management and selection. Government recruitment and promotion would be merit-based, relying heavily on standardized examinations, and civil servants would receive a degree of protection from arbitrary dismissal. Deng Xiaoping shared a dissatisfaction with the personnel system at that time, and also pushed for separation of the state and Party at the time. In the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Zhao and other reformists fell from power and the civil service reform project denounced by remaining Party leaders. 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. The Regulations formally differentiated civil servants and cadres in certain state entities like hospitals, schools, and
state-owned enterprise A state-owned enterprise (SOE) or government-owned enterprise (GOE) is a business enterprise where the government or state has significant control through full, majority, or significant minority ownership. Defining characteristics of SOEs are ...
s. It did, however, contain provisions for the systematic use of examinations, but only in recruitment for non-leading positions. The Provisional Regulations established the first formal civil service in China since the founding of the People's Republic.


Reform since the 2000s

The 1993 Provisional Regulations on State Civil Servants were deliberately narrow, a reflection of the desires of more conservative Politburo members, particularly Li Peng. In 1995, the Ministry of Personnel released a report arguing that the Regulations needed to be expanded to include areas of state authority that were not included originally, such as the Judicial system of China, judicial system.


Training and ideology


Ideal cadre traits

In 1937, Mao outlined a broad vision of cadres as quality personnel capable of linking the Party with the masses in the places where they worked. This vision was eventually included in the Little Red Book:
Our Party organizations must be extended all over the country and we must purposefully train tens of thousands of cadres and hundreds of first-rate mass leaders. They must be cadres and leaders versed in Marxism-Leninism, politically far-sighted, competent in work, full of the spirit of self-sacrifice, capable of tackling problems on their own, steadfast in the midst of difficulties and loyal and devoted in serving the nation, the class and the Party. It is on these cadres and leaders that the Party relies for its links with the membership and the masses, and it is by relying on their firm leadership of the masses that the Party can succeed in defeating the enemy. Such cadres and leaders must be free from selfishness, from individualistic heroism, ostentation, sloth, passivity, and arrogant sectarianism, and they must be selfless national and class heroes; such are the qualities and the style of work demanded of the members, cadres and leaders of our Party.
The Party in particular sought to avoid any manifestation of "bureaucratism" (), a general term referring to potentially undesirable traits that would hinder cadres' ability to effectively work toward achieving socialism. Mao further expanded upon the list of these traits in his 1970 essay, "Twenty Manifestations Of Bureaucracy," including factionalism, stupidity, and reliance on excessive red tape.


Party schools

The Communist Party runs party schools ( zh, s=党校, p=dǎngxiào) that provide training and education to mid-career Party cadres, as well as some military, government, and business cadres. The highest of these are run by the Central Party Committee and cater to cadres from across the country. The foremost party schools include: * The Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, with a focus on Marxist theory for high-level cadres * The China National School of Administration in Beijing, which aims to "improv[e] administrative capacity of government staff" * The Chinese Business Executive Academy in Dalian, with a focus on management and economics for state-owned enterprise leaders * The China Pudong Executive Leadership Academy in Shanghai, which focuses on international affairs * The China Yan'an Executive Leadership Academy in
Yan'an Yan'an (; ) is a prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''already' ...
, and the China Jinggangshan Executive Leadership Academy in Jinggangshan City, Jinggangshan, both of which provide "training on revolutionary traditions and conditions" in China.


Structure and organization

While the government of China and its legislature have technical authority to manage cadres, in practice, this is the sole purview of the Party. Party committees at all levels (broadly, local, provincial, and national levels) take responsibility for cadre management, usually through the Organization Department, and generally one or two administrative levels lower than the committee. Thus, the national Party body, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, will manage cadres at or above the provincial or equivalent level, and provincial Party committees will manage Prefectures of China, prefectures and prefecture-level cities, which in turn manage county-level cadres. County Party committees manage town and township cadres, which manage grassroots cadres. The Central Committee itself only manages an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 cadre positions directly, including figures such as the provincial governors and deputy governors, chairmen of provincial People's Congresses, and chief procurators in the judicial system. All cadres have a specific grade () that designates their relative seniority at a national level. Grade also determines an individual's pay, with variation regionally and across different organizations. A cadre's grade corresponds with the rank () they occupy. Rank and grade are nationally standardized, allowing for cadres from different places to easily determine their position and authority relative to others. The administration of
Deng Xiaoping Deng Xiaoping (22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997), also known by his courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in t ...

Deng Xiaoping
made cadre system reform a component of overall Chinese economic reform. Cadres under Mao were often appointed based on revolutionary fervor as opposed to technical competence, and many were uneducated.


References

* * * * * * * * * * * * *{{cite book , last1=Zhong , first1=Yang , title=Local Government and Politics in China: Challenges from Below , date=2003 , publisher=Routledge , location=New York , isbn=9780765611185 , edition=2015 Politics of China