采访/刘惠 编辑/张天宇 后制/李勇
China’s Fiscal vs. Number of Officials,
Li Keqiang vs. Locusts
In recent years, the Chinese people have called for the stream-
lining of governance to reduce the number of civil servants.
The government and scholars have different numbers of
officials that Chinese taxpayers are paying for.
In fact, there exist way too many so-called
locusts behind the statistics.
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said in a press conference
on March 17, “Any high growth of finance is unlikely,”
cutting expenditure is the way to ensure
a better life for the people.
Li Keqiang’s remarks reflect the words of
former Prime Minister Zhu Rongji who also vowed,
“Prepare 100 coffins and one for me” and “Cut the State
Council first, and streamline the whole country on a large scale.”
What has been the outcome of the streamlining 14 years later?
Chinese official data show that government workers have
Soared in number from 38.43 million to 53.93 million between 1998 and 2009.
Since 2007, annual growth has continued at the rate of
It is estimated that by 2012, the Chinese fiscal
will support more than 60 million officials,
this only refers to workers within the governmental structure.
There are still about 3 million local villages and district
workers not counted for but who rely on tax dollars.
Scholar and independent critic Gong Shengli: “The Chinese
regime owns the world’s largest number of officials.
With more than 60 million officials in 2013, the regime owns
the most officials in 5,000 years of Chinese history.”
No wonder Zhu Rongji sighed, “The bloated structure and
numerous workers have eaten up the country.”
What causes there to be such a large system of officials?
Gong Shengli: “The Chinese regime runs
a dual system of multi level government.
First, above the government, there is the Party.
That means each department consists of two organizations,
one from the Party, and the other the government.
Second, comparing to other countries, the Communist regime
operates at multi-level which requires more officials."
According to Gong Shengli’s analysis, from central to local
and then to the bottom of the village committee, it consists of 7 levels.
In the United States there are three to four levels
from the state to the lowest administrative agencies,
while Singapore and Hong Kong
consist of only two levels.
The finance burden of the Communist regime exists
not only because of the volume of officials,
but also because of the speed in increasing
the number of officials.
What causes this rapid increase in the number of officials?
According Hong Kong’s Phoenix Weekly’s report,
“How many officials do the Chinese fiscal support?"
indicated that other than the existing workers,
retirees are also major dependents of the fiscal.
The number of retirees is increasing at
an annual rate of 900,000,
this accounts for 60% of the annual increase in
officials relying on the fiscal.
Gong Shengli: “China is now an aging country
with retirees likely to be over 20 million.
Retiree cadres are under the Party’s retiree system,
not the social security system.
Retirement benefits are provided by the fiscal,
not by the social security system."
The report pointed out that a large portion of tax dollars
are used to feed about 30% of retirees.
This huge number of dependents brings along high
administrative costs and expenditures.
It is an unbearable burden to the fiscal and the people.
Governmental spending is growing at a rate higher than
Gong Shengli: “The Chinese fiscal certainly supports
the world’s largest number of officials.
The Communist regime also operates
at the highest cost in the world."
Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to cut government spending,
but our expert does not believe that will solve the fundamental issue.
Economist Jian Tianlun indicated that to get rid of the fiscal
burden and difficulty will require getting rid of the Party system.
That’s if the Communist regime is sincere
in the wish to reduce the expenditure.