Chinese bureaucracy: from meritocracy to meritocracy without democracy?

Prof. Oxana Gaman-Golutvina

The mechanism of Chinese contemporary administrative bureaucracy recruitment includes two principles:
1. A complex system of the multi-stage exams for the middle-level bureaucracy (since that is sometimes defined as meritocracy).
2. As to the top level leaders, during the past 15 years an algorithm of "succession for two terms in advance" emerged. It assumed that the state leaser can hold office only two terms without a chance to return to the political Olympus.
However, at the 19th CPC Congress XI Jinping broke this system, including to the CPC Central Committee of his supporters. Elected at the CPC 19th Congress CPC Central Committee by age became the oldest in the last thirty years in contrast to those elected ten years ago at the 16th Congress of the CPC Central Committee, which became the youngest in the previous half century.
Inclusion to the PRC public acts after the 19 CPC Congress opportunity of PRC President lifetime period in office and the absence of the young leaders in the Standing Committee of the CPC Political Bureau suggests that a new generation of leaders will be chosen by another mechanism, that is being created by XI Jinping .

Research questions:
What are the real aims of the elite rotation system transformation after the CPC 19th Congress, what are their causes and what will be the consequences? Does this transformation have an institutional component, or it is only intended for ensuring leader’s personalized power? How does the transformation of power correlate with China's development strategy – does it act as an instrument for the implementation of an ambitious strategy?

Methodological approach:
 Elite-centric paradigm of politics studies (R. Putnam, M.Dogan, J. Higley, H. Best, M. Cotta et al);
 Classical and contemporary theories of bureaucracy and administrative reforms (M. Weber, C. J. Friedrich - H. Final discussion, W. A. Niskanen economic bureaucracy, New public management, Good governance, Public value management, etc.).
 New institutionalism, that takes into account not only formal but also a wide range of informal factors, and institutions are treated as rules and regulations.