chapter  5
19 Pages

Holding ‘China Inc.’ together: The development of central nomenklatura and personnel management system

The second part focuses upon how COD has refined its roles in governing CCBB by regularly training, rotating, and retiring CCBB’s leaders. It starts by examining how COD has actively developed its domestic training as well overseas training with foreign partners for CCBB’s leaders. Then it provides a close look at the senior personnel rotation that COD has arranged to manage top-level human resource across the de jure institutional boundaries among various CCBB. Finally, it emphasizes the age limits that COD has imposed upon CCBB’s leaders. Each of these aspects has been an integral part of COD’s toolkit of control aimed at more

effectively governing the centralized industrial order. It can be said that COD has evolved into an increasingly modernized, ‘mightiest human resource department’ of the ‘China Inc.’. 1

The nomenklatura and senior personnel management arrangements since the early 1990s As discussed previously, the end of 1980s was a watershed in the evolution of CCP’s nomenklatura system and COD. While they tended to be dysfunctional in the 1960s and 1970s (due to Maoism political campaigns) and weakened in the 1980s (due to liberal reformists’ efforts of separating the party from the government and enterprises), the nomenklatura system and COD have played critical roles in governing the emerging CCBB as China’s ‘national team’ since the early 1990s. This outcome has been achieved not by preserving the old practices as much as possible, but by actively reforming and adjusting existing nomenklatura organizational arrangements and personnel management mandates to adapt to new circumstances. After briefl y discussing the post-1989 consolidation, this section examines in detail the two key stages of reform, i.e., the establishment of the 1999 model, and then the 2003 model which has hitherto remained untouched.