This article studies the career paths of China’s political elites in the
reform era, through quantitative analyses of the elites who have held on
to provincial gubernatorial or ministry level positions within the Chinese
government and communist party over the period from March 1978 to
March 2008. Even though the rise of technocrats has recently drawn
much attention from scholars, the career path of political elites remains an
overlooked topic, which has not been explored systematically.