One Million+ Chinese Take Civil Service Exam

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On Sunday, a record-high of nearly 1.12 million applicants took the annual civil service exam in China, an additional 150,000 from last year. The admission rate for 109 jobs is greater than one thousand to one. Some of the most desirable positions have a hiring rate of over 9000 to one.


Shanghai resident Xu Zhengqing says jobs in the civil service are full of perks.



[Xu Zhengqing, Shanghai Resident]:
"Civil service is known as a permanent rice bowl, well paid and good welfare benefits. The job is more stable than other jobs, generally. For an ordinary Chinese, admission to the civil service is equivalent to the chance to be promoted."



Xu says civil servants' friends and family can all benefit making civil service jobs very desirable, and there's also a desire for many to use their jobs to make a name for themselves in the Chinese Communist Party.

[Lan Shu, Party Critic]:
"Working for the regime of one-party dictatorship, the role of civil servants is actually the Party connection. That is why they can be invested with considerable
power and privileges when they become civil servants."


Lan Shu says that in the US, the most talented people often choose to go into the private sector first. And many renowned politicians are actually successful businessmen. They turned to politics to achieve their political ideals and to serve the community.


[Lan Shu, Party Critic]:
"In the West, civil servant is just a common occupation, not privileged. It's the same as other jobs in private businesses."


The majority of candidates for China's civil service jobs are college grads, and even more applications are expected to be submitted next year. But it's not only the application that gets a college grad a job, according to Shanghai's Xu Zhengqing.

[Xu Zhengqing, Shanghai Resident]:
"The final admission list is actually pre-arranged, through pull or influence. Exam is a mere formality. Under-the-table deals have always existed. In reality, lots of those accepted applicants have powerful families."

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