context: Beijing has recently chastised rural cadres for not attending to the actual needs of village residents, especially the extremely poor. While one obstacle in urban areas is the shuttling of personnel to deal with scarcity of resources, the countryside turns out to have another problem.

More than 11,000 Party members do not hold official positions in rural areas of Kaijiang County, Sichuan Province—an example of what People’s Daily calls the ‘irresponsible, idle and inactive’ situation of some cadres because their background (age, educational background, gender and expertise) does not match the posts available. To enable ‘rural non-functioning party members’ to participate–specifically in poverty alleviation efforts– Kaijiang has set up five new categories, specifically: ideological education, political education, democratic supervision, public affairs and scientific development. 16 additional positions were also created during 2018, based on the skills and experiences of the same cohort.

According to the article, newly-assigned Party members are young or middle-aged, with expertise in specific areas and strong values (especially fairness and decency). They are required to exhibit a willingness to contribute to the Party’s mission; actively engage in village economic development; and to report their accomplishments to Party branches and to people’s representatives every six months.

Luo Jian 罗建 Kaijiang County Party Committee Secretary, said that by setting up new posts and assigning responsibilities, Party members working outside the country also took the initiative to apply for the new positions, to gain experience to provide support for the poverty-relief efforts and rural revitalisation of their hometowns.