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A great series! Many thanks!

Western readers should know that Chinese women (and men) don't 'go into politics' like they do in the West.

If you want a political career you must be in the top 2% of university graduates and willing to spend your first five years living in a dirt-poor, remote village with people who don't speak Mandarin and have no idea of what a university is...

No wonder grandmothers and mothers strongly discourage girls from political careers!

Girls in government choose tracks like research (where they win Nobel prizes), engineering, (designed a fleet of 80 missile patrol boats), or computing (built the world's fastest computer), SOEs (double the private sector salary for a 40-hour week) or venture capital (10x the number of partners are women in China vs. US).

Zhao Bing Bing, a mid-level official in Liaoning Province, explained the process to Daniel Bell:

"I was promoted in 2004 through my department’s internal competition (30 percent on written exam results, 30 percent on interviews and public speaking, 30 percent on public opinion of my work, and 10 percent on education, seniority, and my current position) and became the youngest deputy division chief. In 2009, Liaoning Province (pop. 44 million) announced an open selection of officials in the national media. Sixty candidates met the qualifications, the top five of whom were invited for further interviews. Based on their test scores (40 percent) and interview results (60 percent), the top three were then appraised. The Liaoning Province organizational department sent four appraisers who spent a whole day checking my previous records. Eighty of my colleagues were asked to vote–more than thirty of whom were asked to talk with the appraisers about my merits and shortcomings–and they submitted the appraisal result to the provincial Standing Committee of the CCP for review.

"In principle, the person who scored the highest and whose appraisals were not problematic would be promoted. However, because my university major, work experience, and previous performance were the best fit for the position, I was finally appointed department chief of the Liaoning Provincial Foreign Affairs Office even though my overall score was second-best [the government discriminates positively in promoting women–ed]. Before the official appointment, there was a seven-day public notice period during which anybody could report to the organization department concerns about my promotion. I didn’t spend any money during my three promotions; all I did was study and work hard and do my best to be a good person.

"In 2013, thanks to an exchange program, I worked temporarily in the CCP International Department. The temporary exchange system offers opportunities to learn about different issues in different regions and areas like government and SOEs. In a famous quote, Chairman Mao said, “Once the political lines have been clearly defined, the decisive factor will be the cadres [trained specialists]”. So, the CCP highly values organizational construction and the selection and appointment of specialists. There is a special department managing this work, The Organization Department, established in 1924, and Mao was its first leader.

The department is mainly responsible for the macro-management of the leaders and the staff (team building), including the management system, regulations and laws, human resource system reforms—planning, research, and direction, as well as proposing suggestions on the leadership change and the (re)appointment of cadres. Also, it has the responsibility of training and supervising cadres. The cadre selection criteria are: a person must have ‘both ability and moral integrity and the latter should be prioritized’. The evaluation of moral integrity focuses mostly on loyalty to the Party, service to the people, self-discipline, and integrity. Based on different levels and positions, the emphases of evaluation are also different. For intermediate and senior officials, the focus is on their persistence in faith and ideals, political stance, and coordination with the central Party. High-level cadres are measured against great politicians, and, among them, experience in multiple positions is very important".

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