China’s 46 Million Bureaucrats Worries Ruling Elite
China’s bloated army of 46m bureaucrats worries ruling elite (London Telegraph)
China now has 46 million government bureaucrats, new statistics revealed yesterday, a number almost as great as the entire population of England. While the country is used to outdoing the rest of the world for sheer numbers, the explosion in officialdom is alarming its ruling Communist Party. Its excessive and corrupt bureaucracy was regarded as one of the principal causes of the decline of imperial rule. Yet there are now 35 times as many people on the government payroll, even as a proportion of the population, than at the time of the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911. Corruption aside, today’s civil servants are also expensive, requiring official cars, holidays masquerading as training sessions and receptions. All in all, the cost to the nation, before salaries, amounted to Ã‚£50 billion, according to state media.
The figures were disclosed by Ren Yuling, a delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a parliamentary advisory body. “The contingent of bureaucrats in China is expanding at an unprecedented speed,” he said. A separate study showed that the average cost of an official car was eight times that of using taxis. Only a third of all journeys were on government business Ã¢€“ the rest were for personal use by the official or his driver.
Yesterday’s disclosures were not the great step forward in parliamentary accountability they might appear. They fit squarely with a drive by the new party leadership to assert greater control over local government, where most of the bloated ranks of officials are to be found.