Perks of powers with good wealth or position has been quite a common phenomenon in China though it has never been officially acknowledged. In fact, perks within an acceptable range should, by no means, be regarded as a compensation for the efforts has been devoted to for either the wealth and position. However, what we are commonly seeing nowadays, in contrary, is the abnormal ones. The case of Shengqi Wang (王圣淇), a 24-year-old young girl, being appointment to the vice dean for faculty of International Education, Liaoning Shihua University, is just quite a large joke itself.
A story from a 24-year-old vice dean
According to the limited information available publicly, we can see that Shengqi Wang, firstly obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Manchester University and then Master’s degree from Oxford. If taking consideration on how well she has performed on her courses, it would be quite a good, though not excellent background considering her age (Quite a lot of excellent students to see in US). The only thing that made everyone curious and surprised is, she was appointed to be the vice dean of a faculty for a university in China!
Indeed, taking such a position with a young age and excellent performance should be accepted without any doubt. While, the case here indeed means much more potential stories. For readers who own some basic knowledge on the education hierarchy in United Kingdom would understand its indifference between a normal bachelor’s graduate and a taught postgraduate one with the aspect of academic research, which, indeed, is one of the most important criteria of dean promotion for a university in China. And meanwhile, a PhD degree is always expected in such circumstance. Obviously, she would contradict both of the rules unless she is extremely excellent, for which, I suppose, would have been a PhD candidate, being expected to great contributions in some area.
A discussion on perks
Anyway, what I want to talk here in this post is not the experience of Shengqi Wang, and how she get this position. It’s meaningless and can lead to innocuous debating. What I am willing to take a discussion here, is about the perks, especially those from power abusing. Indeed, they would be the most important barrier of the development of China, a country that is willing to challenge the pattern of power and balance globally, since its consequence as unfair on numerous aspects.
Perks from political connection is indeed quite common to see everywhere ranging from emerging markets to those mature ones. The hypothesis set with political factors by Watts failed to be tested in US but get its test field in China. Numerous articles has been published in recent decade on top journals that discusses the relation between the connection and firm performances. Such discussion includes how shareholder value the connection? How can firms benefit from such connection regarding external financing? And even how can the performance of a specific firm boost the promotion of a civil officer?
While in contrary, the perks that appears in the daily life would be far more sensitive for both open discussion and survey. This is partially why I write this post in English. Regarding the East Asia as a region that respects personnel more than legal regime, it would be easy to understand where the perks come from. And the political connection of most large firms in China discussed above is also essential since it largely promote the probability of happening of all these power abusing.
Why would all these perks cause unsatisfactory among the citizens? It is indeed an associate product with the development of the economy of China since the Open Door Policy since 1979. Though perks has been existed on job distribution, purchasing of restricted commodities quite a long time, even during the 1950-1979, when the policy of China is quite similar to the North Korea today, an era of extreme autocracy, it would never be focused since its minority.
Associate product accompanied by economic boost
However, things are going different when the economic boots, especially in a near decade. Though most people are still leading their normal lives, like my parents and many persons around me, some start to accumulate their political power and wealth with their superior knowledge and horizon. Such process, of accumulating the personal wealth, or pursuing the political power, or even both are quite normal if they are purely based on information and all the rules are obeyed. However, this is unfortunately of being, and only being an ideal hypothesis. The origin of wealth is starting to make its transfer, from the personal effort and knowledge, to the dependence on human network and power. A recent documentary about China published by BBC, named ‘The Chinese are coming’, is a good example to see how this system works though they only cover the commercials in Africa.
Succession of wealth and network is an important concept from the Chinese traditional culture on family. It is indeed acceptable if offspring are capable of doing this. Many family groups in Asia and US follow this routine and they paid sufficient cost on training for the successors. However, things are largely different in China since such succession has largely been expanded to the monopoly industries, occupation of vacancies for civil servants and even entrance to top schools. As I said before that the potential assumption for succession is comparative fairness and great intelligence, while they are totally contradicted. You can enter a top school with good network and being admitted as a civil servant with the support from your parents. Your legal penalty would even be waived with a father of Li Gang.
So you may ask me where are the talented Chinese with good family background? The answer is they are now studying and working in US~~.
Where does perk come from and what should we do?
You may want to claim for the unfairness since you may say I can hardly speak English and work in US, but have you thought anything about its potential assumption on why it would happen? It is indeed coming from the overlooking of both the democracy and litigation. Such abnormal perks as well as the abusing of power would largely be diminished given an efficient monitoring system. Taking a look at the government and social environment of Hong Kong and Singapore would definitely bring you better understanding.
Why do I care about all these questions? Because it is now threatening the credibility of the Chinese government to its citizens, especially those educated ones. A good example is the willing of welcoming the talented Chinese scholars back to China from the government. It is a good decision that would largely promote the development of the whole country but its feedback from the students overseas are quite plain. Why would this happen? A direct reason is their concern on the regime.
It would be too late to be aware of all these things when the regime is working like the Egypt. Taking a good look at ‘The Chinese are coming’ would be beneficial if you are taking a reasonable thinking. Being a Fenqing means no good to the country, but being an educated one with reasonable thinking works.