February 23, 2010

Xintai Government Promotes 6 Post-80s to Under Secretary Positions, Youngest is only 23

The youngest of them all, Wang Ran. Source

Translation: 山东新泰提7个副局长6个80后 23岁升副局长受质疑

In a recent post titled "An Appointment Notice That Shocked Me", Chinese Netizen "andybigfan" drew people's attention to the latest announcement from city government of Xintai, Shandong (山东省新泰市, a county-level city). The said announcement appointed 6 new under secretaries and 1 vice-president of the people's court. It was discovered that 6 of the 7 newly promoted were born in the 1980s, and the youngest is only 23-year-old. "Post-80s entering the political scene" quickly became the topic of many online discussions. Yesterday afternoon, a Xintai city offical whose last name is Ge (葛) responded to public doubts, claiming that the appointments are in line with relevant regulations.

7 under secretaries, 6 of them born in the 1980s

In the post, "andybigfan" pasted "Candidates for the open selection of leading cadres" directly from Xintai government website. The list states that after a process of open registration, inspection of qualifications, examination, assessment, and discussion, Xintai Party Committee has decided to appoint seven comrades to be under secretaries.

Chinese Netizens noticed that the youngest candidate of them all, Wang Ran (王然), only began working in the Commission for Discipline Supervision after passing the civil service examinations on August 30, 2008. She has worked as a government clerk for less than 2 years.

When the reporter found the announcement at Xintai city government website, he saw that indeed 6 of the 7 candidates were born in the 1980s, all holding entry level positions previously. Yet this same group were given deputy positions in Court, Audit Bureau, Justice Bureau, and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. The youngest candidate Wang Ran (王然) was born in July 1986. She has dual Bachelor degrees in management and economics.

Interview Marks Much Higher Than the Written

Also at the Xintai website, the reporter found pages that listed Wang Ran's test scores. In this round of examinations, her written score was 64.83, interview score was 86.00, and the comprehensive was 75.41. In 2008, her civil service examination scores were 52.8 for the written, 79.2 for the interview, and 64.88 for the comprehensive. Both times, the interview results were much better than the written tests.

Yesterday afternoon, when the reporter telephoned the city Party Committee to request an interview with the 6 young officials, an employee with the last name of Ge expressed the need to consult with his superiors. By 19:00 today, however, there was still no reply. The reporter also called the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, for which Wang Ran is the new under secretary. Employees said Wang has not started working yet, and they are not familiar with this person.

Netizens Doubtful

1. Will inexperience affect their ability to perform?

According to ID "guaixiaobu," Xintai ranked 25th on the Top 100 Best County List. Advancing a group of recent college graduates to leadership positions is just too sudden. Are they competent? Why aren't they zhu ren (主任, some intermediate position) first to accumulate some experience?

Yesterday afternoon during the phone call to Xintai government, personnel Ge said that the written test is designed by the province and therefore uniform across Shandong. The interview was in-person. All promotions procedures followed relevant regulations. When questioned about the candidates' young age [and inexperience], Ge responded, "Difficult to say"

2 Assistant Judge Directly Appointed Court Vice President

Liu Tingting (刘婷婷), former assistant judge at People's Court in Daiyue region (岱岳), is only 25 years old. Her new position as the vice president of Xintai People's Court also sparked debate. ID "ljs77588" explained that assistant judges are court employees who have not passed the necessary exams and cannot work independently. Therefore, isn't a [drastic] advancement to vice president a violation of rules? By provisions of the law, candidates for both president and vice president of people's courts must be drawn from judges or the equivalent of judges.

Ge told the reporter that Liu Tingting has already passed the law exams and is therefore qualified.

3 Under secretary right after the trial period?

23-year-old Wang Ran became the focus for questions.

ID "在家过晚年" wrote, "A typical person graduates from college at 22. Even if she was admitted directly to civil service, how much can she accomplish in 1 year? Significant invention? Unbridled support from the people? It boggles my mind. One year is merely enough to familiarize oneself with the position, but there she goes flying to become the under secretary. It is mind-boggling." ID "变色蜥蜴" followed up with another comment: "She becomes under secretary as soon as her probational period ends. With so little experience, can she handle the important duties?"

In assuage Netizens' concerns, Ge claimed that all new leaders have done exceptional work previously. But when the reporter asked for examples, Ge replied: "Difficult to say."

Netizens Skeptic

ID "闲子落花" wrote: "In a county-level city, many civil servants will not attain under secretary positions despite of a lifetime of good work. These are pretty significant leadership posts. Thus, people in that list are obviously offsprings of officials."

ID "xzwtzsp": One-step promotion from an ordinary assistant judge to court vice president, I really wonder if she has the ability to take on such a solemn position. I don't understand, were the assessment and promotion processes even legal?

ID "417318": Even if they were political geniuses, they should still undergo a more gradual and progressive development.

ID "黑格尔他爹": Did you all take notice? Wang Ran and Liu Tingting are Xintai locals. The other new officials also are Shandong residents, about 2 or 3 years out of college. How can we not suspect something strange? I wonder what information we can uncover if the family circumstances of Wang Ran etc are made public. However, such a demand is wishful thinking. As someone said above, this public announcement is a "public demonstration of political might"...

ID "兆京老黑": 7 under secretaries, 6 of them are post-80s....post-80s have official come on board.

ID "忘忧主": In county-level cities, a more typical career path is as follows: clerk--deputy supervisor--supervisor--under secretary, so these people have skipped 3 rungs on the political ladder. Normally even under secretaries are promoted from among the supervisor rank; going from deputy supervisor to under secretary is skipping a level too. These people never were deputy supervisors; in other words, they did not have experience as intermediate authorities. How could they have had the chance to demonstrate their leadership skills?

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