The majority of civil servants recruited by central government departments in 2010 were from ordinary families, which stood as proof of China’s efforts to ensure social justice, ChinaNet quoted a senior official at the labor ministry on Saturday. Another government agency joined in:
Party and government organs at all levels last year recruited nearly 800,000 talented people from 14 million examinees, according to a statement released by the State Administration of Civil Service on Wednesday.
“China recruits its civil servants in a fair way, through examination, especially since enacting its first law on civil servants six years ago,” the statement said.
All or much of that good news, apparently, as a reaction to a popular online post of December last year which disclosed that most examinees who passed a recruitment exam for government-affiliated agencies in Huangshan, Anhui province, turned out to be children of local officials.
HuanqiuNet (Huanqiu Shibao online) quotes the State Administration of Civil Service as saying that more than ninety per cent of the candidates finally chosen came from “ordinary families” (九成以上来自普通家庭). It also refers back to previous media coverage about cases where local recruitment practise provided quite a much less favorable picture (without referring to Anhui Province in particular).
Both these pictures [the numbers provided by the civil service administration, nationwide, and the one provided by the media, locally] are probably real,
They contrast with one another (它们相互映衬), and they negate each other. One can’t easily say that China is such a good place, and one can’t easily say that it’s such a bad place. China is a complicated country, as all kinds of different pictures put together would suggest.
After adding a short referral to a case of astronomic toll charges (without naming the man who had been ordered to pay the amount of 3.68 million Yuan for dodging toll charges for eight months, Shi Jianfeng), Huanqiu calls for more transparency, in the process of which the supervising bodies should repair the country, patch by patch. And while the media should expose evils, they should also cover and report progress in society, to picture China in its reality as closely as possible (宣扬这个社会的每次重要进步，构筑最接近中国原版的真实), to let the Chinese people comprehensively understand their own country, by avoiding the use of homogeneous news to shape the peoples’ views and attitudes high-handedly. This, after all, was the basis of democracy (民主的基础).
The “special recruitment” phenomenon does exist. That the outset for the second rich generation of cadres’ children (“干部子弟” 及 “富二代”) is higher than that for the children of ordinary people is also true. To let all people have the same rights isn’t only China’s goal, but also the goal for all the countries of the world to move closer to. While the internet helps to dry out injustices, Chinese people should maintain some sobriety, too: while all these things exist, China is gradually becoming a “fairer” country, not an “unfairer” country.
China’s college entrance examination is on of the world’s strictest, and the civil service selection examinations are also progressively becoming the screening system for a “fair recruitment” (“公平门”).
China has no untouchable class like India, and people with money [in China] don’t have the fame of western countries’ money aristocracy (有钱人远不能像西方的贵族阶层那样张扬). China’s officialdom is also different from America’s or Japan’s, where the shares of members of parliament who “inherit” their positions from their parents amount to 17 per cent, or even almost 50 per cent.
After explaining why China is actually a less complicated country than others, the author concedes that all this should be no reason to allow the “special recruitment” phenomenon to continue. But then, the fact that unfairness was already exposed, the cost of acting in an unfair way were now continuously rising [for those who act unfairly], and the leeway for unfairness was narrowing in China, day by day.
The opening-up of China’s media must bring along a progressive maturity of society - increasing society’s trust in the country by exposing the evils, and not the other way round. China is improving on a daily basis, it is shaking heaven and earth on the global stage with its great revival. This, just as the “special recruitment door”, is a reality you can believe in.
特招门 (tè zhāo mén) – “special recruitment door”
相互映衬 (xiānghù yìngchèn) – to contrast with one another
贱民阶层 (jiànmín jiēcéng) – Dalit caste, “Untouchables”
Update / Related
“Chinese Media must Push the Limits”, China Digital Times/CMP, January 20, 2011