According to Cai Xia, professor with the Party School of CPC, the change in
selection criteria has also reflected the new demands of social development.
Following the founding of the People's Republic of China, the country's
leaders were mainly selected from those who participated in the country's
With the country's reform and opening-up, emphasis was placed on
technological development, paving the way for the promotion of engineers and
However, ever since the 1990s, China's social structure as well as society's
expectations has changed greatly.
"The understanding of modernization has become diversified. It is not only
modernization at the technological level, but also the modernization at the
social policy level," Cai was quoted by the Oriental Outlook as saying.
"While the previous stages emphasized the rapid progress of productivity, now
the country needs cadres with the capacity to manage all social issues
comprehensively. We need not only those with engineering expertise, but also
officials who have their own philosophical way of managing their fields," Cai
And according to Xu, the shift of the government's role from directly
managing SOEs to emphasis on all-around social development, has also led to a
change in the preference of officials with a social, managerial and academic
In addition to the rising of 1960s leaders, the recent shift of several
officials from the developed areas or the central ministries to the less
developed western provinces has also become a focus during the current
For example, the posting of the former Guangzhou Party chief Lin Shusen as
the acting governor of western China's Guizhou Province last July, and the
assignment of former Shenzhen mayor Yu Youjun as the governor of Central China's
Shanxi Province in January last year.
According to experts, these promotions are not entirely coincidental. "It
reflects the intention of the central leadership to transfer capable and
experienced leaders to the less developed inland regions, where they will be
expected to replicate the economic growth," Xu said.
According to reports in several Chinese language newspapers, by making such
rotations, the central government expects these publicity officials to use their
expertise to motivate the local residents.
However, Xu said the reason behind the appointments is that the central
leadership wants to train more versatile high-rank officials.
"No matter what sectors the officials are rising from, they have to develop
into all-around leaders fully capable of dealing with all kinds of problems," Xu
(China Daily 01/25/2007 page12)