chapter  5
19 Pages

Bianzhi and cadre management in China: the case of Yangpu


This chapter addresses the important issue of bianzhi and cadre management at the local level in China. The bianzhi system is a system for creating and deleting posts based on identifying the necessary functions the state needs to fulfill, whereas the nomenklatura system is about appointing and dismissing leading personnel, including reserve candidates for these positions. With the introduction of the civil service system in China there was an attempt to organizationally separate bianzhi and nomenklatura, so that state personnel departments would handle the former system and party committees the latter. However, as part of the recentralization of party control since the early 1990s, the party has re-established control over bianzhi work. An important consequence has been difficulties in implementing restructuring and downsizing of state cadres in China. A local case study of Yangpu Economic Development Zone in Hainan Province illustrates the issues and problems involved.