China's experience in the organization of the civil service system

The support and development of corporate culture are important for the system

By Diplomacy Journal Lee Kap-soo


The following article was contributed by Odilbek Sotvoldiyev, research fellow, the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, to the Diplomacy Journal for publication through the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Seoul. –Ed. 


Annotation:  In this article we will look at China's experience in organizing the civil service system, explore the country's basic principles and accepted practices, and also analyze its success and efficiency. China was one of the first countries to recognize the importance of professionalism and competence in the civil service, and introduced a wide range of measures for training, skill development and workforce development. We will also look at the features of the Chinese system of appointment and promotion, pay attention to the mechanisms of control and supervision of civil servants, and also consider measures to combat corruption.


Introduction. China, with its rich history and culture, occupies a leading position on the world stage. One of the key factors for the country's success is the organization of the civil service system. The Chinese civil service system is unique and different from other countries.

An important aspect of the Chinese civil service system is the balance between centralization and decentralization to effectively manage complex tasks and provide quality services to citizens. Finally, we will discuss the challenges and prospects for the development of the Chinese civil service system in the context of the modern world and global challenges. This analysis will help us understand the characteristics of the Chinese governance model and adopt best practices in the civil service to improve the quality of governance in other countries.

One of the key principles of the Chinese civil service system is the pursuit of continuous improvement and development. Personnel are subject to constant assessment and certification, which makes it possible to identify potential and train employees in accordance with the requirements of the time. In addition, an important aspect is the principle of meritocracy, when promotion is carried out solely on the basis of professional achievements and abilities, and not on the principle of corruption or arbitrariness. [1]

Another important point of the Chinese system is the emphasis placed on transparency and openness in the work of civil servants. This is important to increase citizens' trust in authorities and to prevent corruption. China actively uses modern technology to ensure transparency and openness in the work of government agencies, which contributes to more efficient management and service delivery.

Finally, it is worth noting that the Chinese civil service system is constantly adapting to the changing conditions and challenges of our time. Taking into account global development trends, the country is actively improving its system, introducing innovations and modernizing management processes. All this makes the Chinese governance model attractive to many countries that are seeking to improve their civil service systems and raise their level of governance. [2]

Methods. The organization of the civil service system in China has its own characteristics, which may be useful for study and implementation in other countries. China's experience in this area allows us to consider various aspects, such as personnel policy, the system of incentives and motivation of civil servants, as well as the efficiency of government agencies.

China is actively developing its civil service system, carrying out reforms and modernization in accordance with global trends and its own needs. Particular attention is paid to the professional training of civil servants, improvement of qualifications and efficiency of their work. In addition, an important element of the system is control and supervision over the activities of civil servants, which helps to combat corruption and increase citizens' trust in government.

China's experience in organizing its civil service system can be useful for other countries, especially those seeking to improve their government structures and improve the performance of civil servants. Learning from the experiences of other countries can improve one's own practices and methods, which will ultimately lead to improved quality of public services and citizen satisfaction.

1. An effective system for selecting and hiring qualified employees is one of the key practices of the Chinese civil service. It is important to strictly select candidates for government positions, as well as provide them with professional training and education. China is actively developing a system of professional development and advanced training for civil servants, which helps to improve their professionalism.

2. Transparency and openness of government activities are another important practice of the Chinese civil service system. China is actively introducing mechanisms for open access to information about the activities of government bodies, which helps to increase citizens' trust in government and improve the quality of public administration. [3]

3. An important element of the successful work of civil servants is an effective system of motivation and incentives. China regularly evaluates the performance of government agencies and employees, and also provides various incentives and awards for performance achievements. This helps to increase employee motivation and encourages them to be more effective.

4. Active use of modern information technologies and digitalization of government activities are also important practices in the Chinese civil service system. China is actively developing digital technologies in public administration, which makes it possible to increase the efficiency and transparency of government agencies.

5. Finally, an important element of a successful civil service system is the support and development of corporate culture. China actively promotes the values of professionalism, responsibility and efficiency among civil servants, which contributes to the formation of a unified corporate culture in the public sector. [4]

Results. China has a long history of civil service dating back to ancient times when the bureaucracy was highly organized and structured. In modern times, China has continued to refine and develop its civil service system to meet the needs of its rapidly changing society. The civil service system in China is based on the principles of meritocracy and professionalism. Civil servants are selected through a competitive examination process based on their qualifications, skills, and experience. The examination process is rigorous and is designed to ensure that only the most qualified candidates are selected for government positions. Once selected, civil servants in China undergo training and development programs to enhance their skills and knowledge. They are expected to adhere to strict codes of conduct and ethics, and to act in the best interests of the public. Performance evaluations are conducted regularly to ensure that civil servants are fulfilling their duties effectively and efficiently.

China has also implemented measures to improve transparency and accountability in the civil service system. The government has established mechanisms for reporting corruption and misconduct, and has put in place safeguards to protect whistleblowers. Additionally, the government has introduced measures to enhance public participation in the decision-making process and to increase transparency in government operations. Overall, China's experience in organizing the civil service system demonstrates the country's commitment to building a professional and effective bureaucracy that serves the needs of its people.[5] By continually refining and developing its civil service system, China is working to ensure that its government is efficient, accountable, and responsive to the needs of the public.

The civil service system in Uzbekistan has undergone significant reforms in recent years, drawing upon experiences and models from various countries, including China. China's experience in organizing its civil service system offers valuable insights and lessons that Uzbekistan can consider in its reform efforts. Here are some key aspects of China's experience that Uzbekistan may find relevant:

1. Merit-based Recruitment and Promotion: China has implemented a merit-based system for recruitment, promotion, and advancement within the civil service. This system emphasizes competitive examinations, performance evaluations, and standardized criteria for selecting and promoting civil servants based on their qualifications, skills, and achievements. Adopting similar merit-based practices can help Uzbekistan ensure professionalism, competence, and integrity within its civil service ranks.

2. Training and Capacity Building: China places a strong emphasis on training and capacity building for civil servants at all levels. Through specialized training programs, workshops, and professional development initiatives, China equips its civil servants with the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to perform their duties effectively and adapt to changing circumstances. Uzbekistan can benefit from investing in similar training and capacity-building initiatives to enhance the professionalism and capabilities of its civil service workforce.

3. Streamlining Bureaucratic Procedures: China has undertaken efforts to streamline bureaucratic procedures and reduce administrative barriers in government services. By simplifying processes, digitizing paperwork, and implementing online platforms for service delivery, China aims to enhance efficiency, transparency, and responsiveness in public administration. Uzbekistan could explore similar reforms to improve the quality and accessibility of government services and enhance the overall efficiency of its civil service system. [6]

Conclusion.  In conclusion, China's experience in the organization of the civil service system showcases a commitment to promoting meritocracy, professionalism, and accountability within its bureaucratic structure. The country has implemented rigorous selection processes, training programs, and transparency measures to enhance the effectiveness and integrity of its civil service system. However, challenges such as political influence, lack of transparency, corruption, bureaucratic inefficiency, and the need for further training and development remain key areas for improvement. By addressing these issues, China can continue to strengthen its civil service system and ensure that it effectively serves the needs of its people.

By drawing upon China's experience and best practices in civil service organization and governance, Uzbekistan can strengthen its institutional capacity, improve public administration effectiveness, and advance its socio-economic development objectives. Collaborative exchanges, technical assistance, and knowledge sharing between the two countries can further facilitate mutual learning and cooperation in civil service reform efforts.

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2. Zhu, H. (2018). Building a meritocratic civil service: lessons from China. International Journal of Public Administration, 41(9), 708-719.
3. Wang, Q., Wu, Y., & Lu, X. (2020). The impact of political connections on civil service recruitment in China. The China Quarterly, 241, 1-22.
4. Ma, H., & Yuan, L. (2017). Corruption and the Constraints on Bureaucratic Promotion: Evidence from the Chinese Civil Service. The China Journal, 77, 37-60.
5. Shi, Y., & Dai, R. (2019). Understandings and Transformations: China’s Civil Service System Reforms since 1993. Public Personnel Management, 48(4), 443-461.
6. The Civil Service Reform in Uzbekistan Yuldasheva Feruza Ulugbekovna. 
7. Zheng, F., & Li, H. (2018). China’s civil service pension reform: A case study of local Chinese cities. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 40(4), 219-232.