Former Party Official Declaims Mass Bureaucratic Overstaffing

March 13, 2012 Updated: March 15, 2012

The former deputy secretary of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Liu Xirong, criticized the overstaffing of the Chinese bureaucracy at a recent political meeting, according to Voice of America.

On March 10 at a meeting held by the National People’s Congress (NPC), he railed that the number of civil servants in China has increased from six million (four years ago) to ten million today–an increase of almost 70 percent. “The civilians, no matter how hard they work, cannot afford so many officials!” he said, according to VOA’s Chinese edition.

Liu recommended the State Audit Administration, which is now under the State Council, should be transferred to work under the NPC, “because it is bound to be useless [to audit the use of funds] by the same organization that distribute the funds.” He also called for the punishment of those who have embezzled money, VOA reported.

Ren Yuling, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), counselor of the State Council, during the two sessions in March 2005, said the proportion of officials to citizens is currently far out of balance.

In 2005, he said at the time, there was 1 official to 26 citizens in China. This figure was 306 times and 35 times higher than the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC to 24 AD) and the late Qing Dynasty respectively, and also higher than that in the initial stage of China’s “reform and opening up” in the late 1970s, which stood at 1:67.

A paper written by Hu Xingdou, an economics professor of the Beijing Institute of Technology, in December 2010 pointed out that the administrative expenditure of the Chinese Communist Party and government officials in 2009 accounted for more than half of government expenditures.

Hu also listed the administrative expenditure as a portion of entire government expenditure in other countries in 2000: Germany was 2.7 percent, Japan 2.8 percent, United Kingdom 4.2 percent, Korea 5.1 percent, India 6.3 percent, Canada 7.1 percent, Russia 7.5 percent, and United States 9.9 percent.

Some netizens supported Liu Xirong’s proposal on Weibo. Others wondered: “Why did he wait till his retirement to tell the truth?”