The Communist Party has struck a blow for self-discipline by getting more than 180,000 of its members to disclose family members’ job information. Analysts say it’s a minor step, and they’re probably right, but at least it offers some means of identifying potential and actual conflicts of interest at local level. Unfortunately, the average man in the street will never know if his mayor has a daughter in the manager’s office of the local bank or construction company. Only Sanya and Hunan province have made even a passing attempt at full disclosure. Recent graduates with influential officials in the family might be thanking their lucky stars for this. Given the difficulties facing young job seekers, now is the time to have a daddy who can pull strings. According to reports, most graduates have reduced their salary expectations and some have resorted to working as nannies (bedtime stories about nuclear physics, anyone?). The government has responded with a raft of measures aimed at encouraging private sector employers to hire staff and easing the geographical restrictions on movements by graduates. This includes full tuition refunds for graduates who take jobs in western and central China. Now 3G mobile licenses have been issued, maybe they will also offer cash handouts to graduates willing to run the gauntlet and use a TD-SCMDA phone.
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