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The 19th Party Congress and Reforms of the State Supervision System

As the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party has closed, more information is being released on the reforms of the state supervision system announced in Xi Jinping’s Work Report, and listed here.

The Work Report is an extremely important document, that will set the pace and path of change in the policy environment, and in the state apparatus. The reform of the state supervision system will be a process of notable breadth and complexity, to be understood and analyzed as a whole.
A focus limited to single episodes within this process — such as the reform of administrative detention measures — does not really do justice to the reforms, and their significance for the policy environment as a whole, not to mention the evolution of theoretical concepts and principles.

Yet, many have been focussing on the announcement that supervision organs will replace shuanggui with a different measure — known as liuzhi, and attempting to understand how big this move really is, and what has led to it.

Yes, this will be a really big move and — yes, this move comes at the end of a process that has been unfolding since the early 1990s at least. I have written about these and similar matters here.

Reforms will be enshrined in the new State Supervision Law, which will be amended in March 2018. The result will likely be an entirely new system to monitor, assess, and manage the behavior of civil servants.

While it is still too early to know what powers state supervision organs will enjoy, it is already clear how the reforms will be relevant to the following 6 groups:
  1. Civil servants, as defined by the Law on Civil Servants of the PRC
  2. Civil servants who have been authorized by law to perform public duties
  3. Managers of SOEs
  4. Managers of public professional units in the fields of education, research, health-care, culture, and sport
  5. Managers of mass self-governance organizations
  6. Other persons performing public duties

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