Too little money, no way up

Updated: 2015-07-31 08:14

(China Daily)

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The profile of Chen Kai, deputy director of the Shanghai office of foreign affairs, was removed from the department's official website on Monday, confirming previously circulated news about his resignation.

Chen's resignation means three Shanghai bureau-level officials have resigned over the past six months, and it once again puts the reasons for officials leaving their jobs in the spotlight.

Some have generalized the causes behind the resignation of an increasing number of officials, considered an elite group holding a job for life, as low incomes, poor promotion prospects, and the growing difficulties in gaining "grey income" under the ongoing anti-corruption campaign. Despite the different excuses given by officials for resigning, the increasing number of resignations among civil servants, especially senior ones, have exposed institutional problems in the system, and the failure to resolve them will possibly force more officials to follow suit.

Working as a public servant is also a job, and anyone with such a job is entitled to expect reasonable income guarantees and chances for promotion. However, when explaining their resignations, the Shanghai officials revealed that their income is lower than that of officials in neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, even though it is more expensive to live in Shanghai.

Aside from low incomes being cited as a reason for their resignations by some officials, experts say that problems exist in the promotion system that are yet to be resolved, which has meant many capable public servants have not been promoted in accordance with their performance.

In an open society, officials' change of their jobs represents a normal flow of talent, but if too many of such a well-trained group are quitting their posts it should prompt reflection on whether the system needs changing.

The above is a China Youth Daily article published on Wednesday.