PRC Governance: Proverb and Policy — Policies Above, Countermeasures Below

Articles from the Baidu online encyclopedia sometimes provide intriguing refractions of social reality and the difficulty the PRC Party and the PRC state have in implementing Central Committee and central government policies in measures in their vast, complex and surprisingly decentralized country.

Here I did a DeepL translation of the article, cleaning up parts where the machine accent made the text just a bit too confusing.

Some other perspectives on PRC governance:

“For every policy from above there is a countermesure down below” 上有政策,下有对策 Shàng yǒu zhèngcè, xià yǒu duìcè

(Social Issues)

For every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below”is an extremely undesirable phenomenon that is currently (and has been for nearly decades) prevalent in the work of Party committees and governments at all levels in China. [1] This phenomenon in China is often reflected in the violation of many policies, regulations, and even laws by the lower levels; there are orders that do not work, and there are prohibitions that do not work, and there is a great discount in the implementation of policy deployment [2]. In the case of inspections such as inspections by leaders, the subordinates will be fully prepared, falsified, and concealed from the world. [3] And even if the leak, the lower levels can be concealed by flattering their superiors. Finally, there is bound to be a higher level of superiors who do not know what is going on, decades of this phenomenon are “logical” to exist on. [3-5] 


1 Background of the phenomenon

2 Cases of occurrence

  1. School example
  2. School example
  3. School example
  4. School example

Internet example

Other examples

3 Causes

  1. Online petition 
  2. Work problems
  3. Forced falsification 
  4. Responding to inspection

4 Initiatives to address the problem


  1. ▪ Fustrating reform
  2. ▪ Enemy of scientific development

6 Hazards

7 Suggestions for improvement

Background of the Phenomenon

For every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below” is an extremely undesirable phenomenon [1] that currently prevails in China at all levels of party committees and governments, which has led to the spread of “high requirements” in China (because the phenomenon has the evil effect of swallowing reforms, so The reform will not be implemented and cannot be judged by the effectiveness of the reform, and the larger reform will not be able to establish a complete system, and the new requirements of some reforms will be too high in such a status quo; the unreasonable content of the reform will not be judged by the effectiveness of the reform and will not be corrected, bringing lasting negative effects), the working style of falsification [3], the style of hypocrisy [3], the style of flattery, and the style  of slack reporting (due to The prevalence of “policies at the top and countermeasures at the bottom” has led to little success in reporting irregularities in individual organizations; the problems with reporting complaints in China are significant and often ineffective; and the fawning over the organizations in which people work).

The phenomenon occasionally occurs outside of China and is not a serious social problem, and there are few reports of this social problem from other countries on the Internet: for example, when you open the English-Chinese translation of the term in Youdao, there is only one example sentence reflecting a social problem in another country. [6] Public opinion tends to think that “there are policies at the top and countermeasures at the bottom” is a serious social problem in China, e.g., “‘there are policies at the top and countermeasures at the bottom’ is a persistent problem of policy implementation in China. [6] “

Note: Since this phenomenon is only a serious social problem in China, this entry is compiled around the context of the phenomenon in China, except for the part about the situation outside of China.

Examples including repeated bans on corporal punishment in schools

  1. An enterprise in Hubei stealing water into the Yangtze River and setting up a fake sewage pipe to cope with inspections. [4] 
  2. Old trees are planted with new branches just to cope with inspections. [5] 
  3. The innovative spirit of many policies is generally not appreciated, and people cling to their old ways, but can easily conceal them from the public. 
  4. The phenomenon of corporal punishment of students by teachers, which has been illegal in China for years, is repeatedly prohibited [7]. In early 2014 the Ministry of Education issued the “Measures for Handling Violations of Professional Ethics by Teachers in Primary and Secondary Schools” [8] yet still: since then there have been numerous incidents of exposure alone.
  5. “Achieving the transformation from test-based education to quality education is a profound change in the field of education, both an assertive and a protracted battle. [9]”, the implementation of an existing legal provision: “Compulsory education must implement the country’s educational policy, the implementation of quality education …… [10]” but has become a long-term goal for China. 
  6. Nanjing many streets sprouted The “shame wall” blocking garbage to cope with the inspection [11] . 
  7.  7. The policy above has a countermeasure under the employees “invented” never late punch card law [12] . …… The existence of policies at the top and countermeasures at the bottom is common in all walks of life, and there are many of them.

School example 1

The leadership inspection has turned into a “national fakery”

The inspection of the leadership inspection turned into a “national fake” (3 photos)

  • Teachers: Every semester, schools start with more or less lost students, mainly because they are not motivated to learn, cannot keep up with their studies or go out to work. The number of lost students is also a school assessment, the Education Bureau to check, they will privately carve some fake official seal to do a fake transfer or loan certificate, or put some empty desks and chairs and books in the class, in the inspection said that there are students on sick leave.
  • Parents: 2012 kindergarten activities, because the children are relatively small, practice for a long time the effect is not particularly satisfactory, the final performance there are many parents and leaders of the Education Bureau are sitting on stage, so the teacher decided to let the children fake singing, so the children practice for nothing, but also did not get exercise. Children especially want to stand on the stage to sing for real, to show themselves, no matter how well the child sings, should let the child show the real side.
  • Students: The school did not arrange classes in the laboratory, the teacher suddenly let students go to clean up in 2012 acceptance, two consecutive afternoons, bring your own mop and rag, after cleaning up, I do not know what lesson was taught there, so that each person took two pots of flowers to the school for decoration, placed two days and took home. Only on the day of acceptance did they go in and have a laboratory class, although the school’s laboratory building passed the acceptance, but it was also dealing with the past.
  • Teachers: The usual schedule and the inspection schedule are absolutely different, the inspection schedule will be related to small subjects, such as local classes, labor and technology classes, these classes will also be on a section at the beginning of the school year, usually not at all, most of them are assigned to the main subject. These lesson plans are written by teachers to cope with the inspection, the current national requirements for quality education, so the state also requires schools to open these courses, but in practice, they do not take the test, do not require grades, so they are occupied by the main subject, did not get implemented.
  • Students: Usually if there is a health inspection, the eighth period of the school is not held, and the students are cleaning up. And in open class, the teacher will ask everyone to raise their hands, and the ones called are usually the ones who raise their left hands. [13] 

School Example 2

Wu Wuzhou claimed in 2003 that he had taught in a rural middle school a few years ago and had witnessed the whole process of dealing with things like inspections. At that time, his school took on the task of literacy for the farmers in the whole township, and because of economic reasons, the farmers’ minds were spent on earning money and had no time to study. Later, the top said to come to inspect, it is said to come to the official is not small, because the notice early, they rushed to the school abandoned house to use, let the students clean new, also rented the surrounding fish ponds, vegetable fields, and pay a lot of graduated students to act as “illiterate”, the inspection day, these impostors “illiterate” all passed successfully. Of course, there is no shortage of wild food and mountain treasures to entertain the people who came to do the inspection were very happy, praised their work on the spot. In this case, he also participated in doing some work, such as the writing of wall posters and blackboards, and the “falsification” of the illiterate roster. The time has changed, and when you go back and look at it, everything is already dusty. [3] 

School example 3

Junior high school 7th grade Standard class schedule, or faked class schedule for inspection, example

School example 4

For example, in the proliferation of classroom delays and class occupancy [14], physical education classes are often seriously under-provided [14] Behind these current situations, there are these “Ministry of Education requires teachers not to delay classes [15]”, “Ministry of Education: Squeezing students out of physical education classes is strictly prohibited [16]” The Ministry of Education has also announced that the Ministry of Education will require teachers to provide physical education classes for students in the afternoon. Recess physical activity. …… [17] “These are little-known national regulations that have fallen through the cracks.

Web example

“The consequences of “policy from the top and countermeasures at the bottom” [18]

The game in the network world also has policies at the top and countermeasures at the bottom. Companies in the online computer gaming world Like TaoMee Inc [上海淘米网络科技有限公司]    under the banner of children’s games, such as the computer game Money Miner: 

1. 60 yuan in 2014, at least a week out of the genie (to carry out the necessary to raise another at least 20 yuan), the price often rose to nearly 100 yuan from the end of April; 

2. Blatantly used the word nouveau riche  Tuhao (土豪) in the game.

3. Closing accounts if people took advantage of bugs in the game. 

4. Since 2013, at least one expensive RMB sprite has been released every week, resulting in the end of 2013, so that the earliest players who started to play have paid thousands of RMB; 

5. Very dishonest to the community (for example, the so-called online game anti-addiction system only limits the income of the playing points that have lost attention. To the media statement night strictly closed while the actual has long been 4399 small game deciphered night version, so far night version running smoothly; sprites purchased easily as can be used permanently, but the actual will soon be completely eliminated by the future equivalent sprites, the overall price increase more intensified the elimination speed) (can reflect the national flood of hypocrisy work style); 

6. 2014 there are 5 consecutive weeks of continuous consumption gift activities, the highest Induced to recharge 500 yuan; 

7. Induced apparently brainless splurge consumption behavior …… while the law, the document is stipulated: “Only citizens over 18 years old can buy online gaming products.” “Allow the use of game bugs.” …… Qihoo 360 was accused by Baidu of having violated net rights, the superiors have not been dealt with, and the games it came out with are very much like to pit children’s money. There are many other similar online technology companies. Another example is modern Chinese Internet cafes, which are very common, are labeled as “no minors allowed” and are widely solicited by minors in violation of the law. [18] 

The money pit “children’s game” Sailor (5 photos)

Note: Some examples are interspersed in the “Evaluation” section of this entry.

Foreign examples

Few foreign examples: 1. The new U.S. credit card law on the road, there are policies under the countermeasures [19] … 2. …

The root cause of the proliferation of this phenomenon is the ineffective inspections and other checks from the top. Some netizens say, “Greeting and then inspection is a Chinese characteristic.” The current common inspections and other checks are “give a flash and then kill”, which can not promote the implementation of policy provisions. This is the superiors of the policy implementation of extreme laxity, irresponsible.

Online petition work problems

For example, some extreme slackness in the online petition work of the portal of the State Bureau of Letters and Petitions can reflect the slackness of inspection oversight in China as a whole.

Frequent delays in  processing

These phenomena are completely contradictory to Director Shu Xiaoqin’s request: “Online petitions and visits should be done so that all queries get a response [22]”.

1. Frequent overtime processing: the State Council regulations on petitions have provisions: “petition matters should be completed within 60 days from the date of acceptance; complicated circumstances, approved by the head of the administrative organ, the processing period can be extended appropriately, but the extension period shall not exceed 30 days, and inform the petitioner of the reasons for the extension. Laws and administrative regulations provide otherwise, from its provisions.” [23] However, as shown in the diagram (the diagram reflects the trend of never continuing to handle the content): serious overtime processing has occurred, not to mention the implementation of other provisions. The petitioner in question later followed up with the local petition bureau but still had gotten no answer more than half a month after submitting the query. Many of the petitioner’s proposed petitions are also often handled overtime. Complaints about excessive delays can also be found on the Internet.

Complaint column of inaction

2. inactive complaints section: the online complaints section has a statement that “the National Complaint Acceptance Office does not accept the following complaint matters: 3. the relevant localities or departments have been accepted and within the processing period (the State Council’s “Regulations on Letters and Visits” stipulates that petition matters should be completed within 60 days from the date of acceptance, and can be extended to 90 days for complex cases); [24]  ” However, as shown, the complaints regarding the resending of time-out complaint pieces and the reflection of the time-out situation are mechanically rejected by this column time and again. Although add for example: Note: This is the 2013-11-25 Teaching Management 2013 – 2014 academic year **** violation of the complaint of resending, the original complaint more than 3 months did not give the results of processing, processing has exceeded the time, * in violation of the State Council letter and visit regulations, * according to the provisions should accept the resending of the piece. Please ask the State Bureau of Letters and Visits to accept this resend! Such a note will still be mechanically rebuffed. This column also does not deal with the reflection of the complaint about the overtime processing situation.

Complaints of inaction column 2

Inaction complaint column 2

3. The public telephone number does not exist: the public telephone number of the State Bureau of Letters and Calls [25] does not exist. Summing up these phenomena, it is difficult to handle the petition matters in accordance with the law, seek results and achieve effective results.

Forced to Falsify Response to Inspection

Since it is an inspection, the main purpose is to know the real situation of the inspected unit, but in fact it is not so, because in most of the inspections before the start, there is a notice circulated long before, so that the subject of the inspection is prepared to deal with it. So the above requirements will be fully met in a short period of time, the inspection is a good scene. This really should be the usual often said that “the policy above, there are countermeasures” the phrase. But we see, this “countermeasures” is not subject to inspection by the unit voluntarily so to do, to a certain extent is “forced”. It can be expected that if there is no “advance notice”, no time to prepare, “countermeasures” from where?

One side is a high demand, one side is the advance notice. The inspected unit would not have had the ability to meet such requirements, but with the “notice” and the time, there are a variety of natural countermeasures. Anyway, the inspection time is often not long, walking around to see, superficial efforts to do enough, generally can pass, if the inspection team served well, may also be able to become “excellent”. Therefore, in order to cope with the inspection, the inspected unit often invested a lot of human and material resources, these inputs in addition to some of the hardware facilities to supplement — some of the implementation of the later may not be used — -Most of the inputs are useless after the inspection, or wasted. [3] 

Initiatives to address the situation

Since 2012, the central government has taken several initiatives to first rectify the prohibition of “policies from above and countermeasures from below” in the implementation of the central government’s policies.

Xi Jinping: Never permit “For every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below.” On January 22, 2013, President Xi Jinping pointed out in Beijing that it is necessary to prevent and overcome local and departmental protectionism and nativism, and never allow “policies at the top but countermeasures at the bottom”. Never allow the order does not work, there is a ban on more than one, never allow the implementation of the central decision on the deployment of discounts, make choices, adaptations. [2] 

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection: the implementation of the central policy to engage in “For every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below.” will be seriously investigated and held accountable June 11, 2012, the Deputy Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection He Yong stressed the need to increase accountability, the implementation of central policies and measures to engage in “for every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below.”, there are orders that are not obeyed, there is a ban on more than one, to supervise the implementation of the central policies and measures to be held accountable. All departments are urged to seriously pursue the responsibility of the relevant leaders and personnel.

He Yong said, to find and urge the rectification of the phenomenon as an important task, the flexible use of inspection methods, with the help of high-tech regulatory platform, in-depth search for the phenomenon, and urge the relevant places and departments to seriously rectify; to increase accountability, the implementation of central policies and measures to engage in “for every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below.”, orders are not followed, things prohibited are not stopped, and there is a failure to strictly implement the central policies and measures. There are failures in  capital construction procedures, in the project approval, bidding, funds management, use, quality of engineering and other irregularities, the supervision of the ineffective, administrative inaction, chaos, the phenomenon of cover-up, refusing to rectify or false report of rectification, to urge the relevant places and departments to seriously pursue the responsibility of the relevant leaders and personnel; to improve and other regulatory supervision to improve coordination with other regulatory and supervisory work, to achieve information sharing, results sharing, to form a comprehensive effect. [26] 

Liu Yunshan: Change the style of work does not play tricks to solve the upper policy under the countermeasures March 28, 2013 afternoon to 29, Liu Yunshan said, grasp the implementation needs a good style. After the 18th Party Congress, the Central Political Bureau formulated and introduced eight provisions to improve the style of work, which must be firmly implemented. To have a high degree of ideological consciousness, a deep understanding of the style is the image of the party, the life of the party, and effectively solve the phenomenon of “do not think”. To come up with effective measures, to leave a mark with a stepping stone, grasping the iron to change the style of work, and effectively solve the problem of “talking without doing anything and just waving a big stick”. To uncompromisingly change the style of work, no adaptations, no tricks, to effectively solve the problem of “For every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below.” The people generally agree on improving the style of work, high expectations, the Central Political Bureau must work on the word “permanent”, adhere to the normalization, long-term grasp, improve the system, establish a long-term mechanism, strengthen supervision and inspection. [27] 

Guo Jinlong: The implementation of the Party’s discipline must not allow the “for every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below.” Guo Jinlong said that Beijing, as the capital, must be the first good standard of exemplary implementation of the Party’s political discipline, in political, ideological and operational always with Comrade Xi Jinping as the general secretary of the Party Central Committee to maintain a high degree of consistency, consciously safeguard the central authority, to ensure that the central that the political order is smooth in Beijing. In the implementation of the party’s discipline phenomenon must not be ambiguous, never allow “for every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below.”, never allow that orders are obeyed, and that prohibitions are not ignored.  Don’t allow for changes, unallowed options or variations. While implementing the line and policy of the Center, never allow the dissemination of views contrary to the Party’s theory and line and policy, do not allow public statements contrary to the decisions of the central government, do not allow the disclosure of party and state secrets, do not allow participation in various illegal organizations and illegal activities, do not allow the creation and dissemination of political rumors and statements that scandalize the image of the Party and the state. [28] 

Frustrating Reform

China has been on the road to institutional reform for more than 30 years, but the prevailing “” mentality has made it difficult to implement some of the central government’s policy guidelines at the grassroots level, such as the central government’s long-standing goal of establishing a clean and efficient government is far from being realized.

The local party leaders at all levels seem to be inspiring in their speeches at every conference. But many of the reports and speeches are filtered and conveyed through layers, which ultimately makes it difficult to produce the desired effect at the grassroots level. To a certain extent, this is also a consequence of China’s “policy from above and countermeasures from below”. Some local governments are always playing their own little game when implementing policies from above: “if it is in their own interest, they will implement it, if not, they will pass the buck”; when performing their duties, they also have “policies in front and strategies at the back”, showing their own interest preferences to the fullest, pursuing new achievements by all means, and playing with new concepts all the time. They are also “policy before, strategy after” in the performance of their duties, showing their own interest preferences in every possible way, pursuing new achievements and playing with new concepts.

For example, in 2013, Xinhua reported that “Maotai wine was packed into mineral water bottles for banquets for officials”, which is a typical example of the “policy from above and countermeasures from below”. The “top has a policy, the bottom has a countermeasure”, is a violation of the “eight provisions” of the “creation”.

Building a clean and efficient government needs to establish the idea of preparing for a protracted war, it takes time to change the desire for power of some senior officials and government hands, to reverse the extravagant style of some local governments, so that they perform their duties in accordance with the law and play an exemplary and leading role requires a time frame; in the “deep water” to deepen institutional reform and maintain sustained and stable economic and social development requires Accumulation of energy; abandon the “policy at the top, the bottom of the countermeasures” and other negative thinking, shaping a new culture of clean and efficient government administration requires a continuous accumulation of positive energy and so on. Therefore, to achieve the goal of clean government and efficient government is not overnight, but requires regular and long-term attention from one central government after another, and even more so from one local government after another to consistently implement. [29] 

(The authors are vice dean and professor of the College of Finance and Economics, Jiangxi Normal University; dean and professor of the School of Government Management, Beijing Normal University)

The Enemy of Scientific Development

Since the central government put forward the scientific concept of development, in various departments around the implementation of the same time, there are some places and departments in the implementation of the central government on the promotion of scientific development of major decisions and deployment of some discordant murmurs, a few leading cadres for the department and small group interests, on the pretext of local and departmental peculiarities, ignoring the three orders of the central government, engaged in “for every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below.”, undermining orders from higher authority with local countermeasures, undermining the unity and smooth flow of government orders.

“There is a policy above, there are countermeasures below” is essentially a dismemberment of the higher policy, misinterpretation for my use, to achieve narrow local sectoral interests, or even personal self-interest, is essentially a negative policy adaptations, is a departure from the original policy. At present, the “policy above, there are countermeasures” phenomenon in reality varies, specifically for the central government on the promotion of scientific development of major decisions and deployment of “replacement” implementation, “selective “implementation,” “additional” implementation, “symbolic” implementation, “deceptive” implementation, “confrontational “execution” and other six kinds of cases.

First, “replacement” implementation of higher-level policies. Some places ostensibly introduced measures to implement the policy of the higher level, but in fact the implementation of contrary programs, so that the policy of the higher level fell short. For example, in order to control the rapid rise in housing prices, the state has repeatedly launched a variety of initiatives, but in the face of frequent red light, some local governments are not thinking about how to cool down, but the use of a variety of techniques, the macro-control policies “to unload the force”, trying to muddle through. Some are to take the “confusion method”, the same city housing prices, this department said up, that department said down, the use of different statistical caliber, looking for “political achievements” to prove their own regulatory results, a lot of publicity; some are selective release of data.  Some are selective in releasing data, releasing some irrelevant data to the society but refusing to disclose important information. These might include the city’s stock of land, how much land is being hoarded by developers, how much overdue development and other data that is crucial to the trend of real estate, are kept secret. Some adopt the “virtual to real” method, the central control policy is becoming more and more clear and detailed.  The “implementation rules” issued by some local governments are too unrealistic to be carried out. , There is no inspection and assessment standards. The implementation of macro-control in some places has become a meeting to meeting, policy to policy, document to document process.

Second, “selective” implementation of higher-level policies. Some local governments in the implementation of higher-level policies, focusing on my use, the spirit and content of the policy deliberately misinterpreted, select the policy of the local, the department and even the implementation of the part of their own benefit to the implementation, out of context, each taking what it needs. For example, some local governments in the implementation of coal production policy, focusing on the economic benefits of coal mining, focusing on the performance of the coal mine economy, focusing on the contribution of the coal mine economy to local finances, the implementation of this part of the policy is in place. But at the same time, the coal production policy requires local governments to rationalize the use of mineral resources, to prevent indiscriminate mining, to protect the environment, to focus on personnel safety training and other aspects of the economic benefits are not obvious, they do not get the attention of the implementers, some places even ignore, resulting in the depletion of resources, more than mining accidents, affecting national peace, economic development, social harmony, stability of the people.

Third, the “symbolic” implementation of higher-level policies. Some places in the implementation of higher policies in the process, “do not seek to look like, only look like”, on the surface is to implement the policy without compromise, but in fact the higher policy to engage in “adaptations”, “first get on board, then buy a ticket “, or even ignore, on the car also do not buy a ticket, resulting in a fait accompli. 

For example, the national production safety law requires all coal mines to be fully licensed, requiring local regulatory authorities to strictly license approval, and increasing inspection efforts to eliminate unlicensed mining. However, many of the coal mines that were involved in mining accidents were later found to be incompletely licensed, operating without a license or with multiple licenses, or mines that should have been closed but were retained in the name of resource consolidation, and coal mining companies even consolidated mines instead of resources. This shows that the local government’s regulatory departments are not performing their inspection and supervision duties well, and are even working with mine owners to falsify and cope with inspections from higher levels. Numerous bloody lessons show that the implementation of the higher production safety supervision policy in front of a set, behind a set, the order does not work, not only prohibit, is the culprit of the frequent occurrence of mining accidents.

The fourth is the “additional” implementation of higher policies. Local governments or departments, according to the local, the actual situation in the sector issued “red-header documents”, which should refine the relevant national policies and laws and regulations of the principal provisions, so that the implementation process is more operable, to better serve the people. But some local governments issued “red-header documents” which are contrary to the Central policy of the “local policy”, mixed with selfishness. A municipal government has issued a document stipulating that the legal representative of a company registered according to law and with fixed asset investment of more than 50 million yuan or the legal representative of an enterprise paying annual taxes of more than 5 million yuan can enjoy “super national treatment”: no penalty for vehicle violations, free choice of schools for children’s schooling, and no inspection by public security authorities for consumption in entertainment venues; a A city government office in 2006 with a “red-header document” for a brand of alcohol promotion, requiring the city’s official hospitality in the future to use the brand, the completion of the task of the unit at 10% of the reward, not completed will be notified of criticism ……

Fifth, “deceptive” implementation of higher-level policies. Some local governments under the banner of development and protection of pillar industries, on the surface of the word to increase supervision, but secretly for the owners of illegal mines and environmental assessment of substandard enterprises “green light”, issued a “pass”, acting as an agent, condoning illegal coal mines and pollution The company’s production and operation, resulting in the national decree “strict not up, not down”, the phenomenon of “intestinal blockage”. The party and government have made great efforts in recent years to close down small coal mines that do not meet the requirements, but the implementation of this plan has been undermined by the submissiveness of some local cadres, whose oversight was exposed by the Nov. 25, 2006, gas explosion at the Changyuan coal mine in Fuyuan County, Qujing City, Yunnan Province. This was a mine that had already been closed by the Mine Inspection Bureau and the Yunnan government, but was replaced with a replacement mine and continued to produce, resulting in a particularly serious accident.

Sixth, “confrontational” implementation of higher-level policies. There are also some places on the higher policy blatantly ignored, I do what I want, and refuse to implement national policies and regulations. For example, a steel company in Jiangsu Province in 2002 in Changzhou City, the construction of large-scale iron and steel projects, the local government and the relevant local administrative departments in violation of relevant national laws and regulations, blatantly exceeded the authority to approve the project, the enterprise’s illegal behavior open one eye, close one eye. The company started construction without obtaining the approval of the environmental impact report from the environmental protection department, and violated the land management law by starting construction without obtaining legal land acquisition approval documents. For example, from 2003 to 2006, a municipal government and relevant departments violated the overall land use plan and the overall urban plan and illegally approved the expropriation of 14,877 mu of collective land for the construction of a university campus. After the relevant departments reported to the State Council and ordered the city to correct the land violations, the city not only failed to rectify the situation, but also blatantly expanded the illegally expropriated land. [30] 

Shen Xiaoping, Research Office, Organization Department, Anhui Provincial Party Committee


Corrupting social morale

The means of responding to the leaders’ inspections are flattering, falsifying and extremely incorruptible. Even the implementation of the education of the school, but also not compromise to do so, so “by example”, will let the majority of students every day to imbibe with, for example, junior high school ideology and morality class material view completely contrary to the bad behavior, and the “Zeng Zi Kills the Pig” 曾子杀猪 view of education which is diametrically opposed. [13] [Note:  “Zeng Zi Killing Pigs” is an old story about Zeng Zi teaching children by example  to be faithful to their words and to be honest with others. End note.]

Extremely disruptive to the social order

The subordinates violate policies everywhere, and the superiors help to conceal them from the public at all times [4-5] [13], and every set of regulations is likely to become a piece of paper, and every chapter of law is highly likely to be vague, and many institutions are full of hypocrisy and corruption, making social management greatly disturbed.

The progress of society is greatly slackened (swallowing reforms) [29] 

For example, contemporary Chinese students can see for themselves that the time required to learn the content and the recommended number of hours of class time is usually (usually the focus of the three main classes, including the answer to the homework by the time) is absolutely not the same, compared to the time required nearly three times, for example, the general middle school many literary text is recommended for 2 hours, and just to end the new lesson will require a week more than a dozen hours of time.

Because the phenomenon of “for every measure from on high, there is a countermeasure from below” exists, the education authorities will remain unaware of the situation, so that the burden of students has been far beyond the standard, becoming the “blind spot” of society. There will be a huge mismatch between the number of hours recommended for decades and the actual time required for decades. The overall effect on education has been a huge slackening of educational progress and reform of test-based education.

In many fields, it is almost impossible to find a person who is basically in line with the policy, even if a person consciously complies with the policy and regulations, however, “there is a policy at the top, there is a response at the bottom” is the overall swallowing of the reform, the policy itself exists in the shortcomings, difficult to implement, the phenomenon can not be improved, resulting in people no matter what (because the policy can not be improved, resulting in the existence of The policy itself has deficiencies, difficulties in implementation, and phenomena that cannot be perfected. [5] [7] [13] [29] 

Contradictory Policy Recommendations Lesson (6)

As shown in the chart book on the right. The Mountain West policy calls for 1 class period per week of “Research Study” lessons, while actually falling short. Also resulting in a book of “Research Study” materials on the completion of a book of content on the recommended class time would require 39 class hours for at least 2 semesters, a great contradiction between the policy and the policy.

Greatly trampling on democracy

A democratic state is supposed to take care that the central government does not have supreme power, that governmental authority is decentralized to the regions and localities, and that local governments must be as open and responsive to the people as possible [31] …… However, as described in the “Background of the Phenomenon” section of this entry The problem is that even the work of the National Bureau of Letters and Calls has such serious problems, as described in the column “Background of the Phenomenon” and “Problems of Online Petition Work” under the column “Causes”. The people are unable to manage the work of the government, and democracy has been greatly trampled on.

Suggestions for improvement

The fundamental way to solve the problem of “policy at the top and countermeasures at the bottom” is to have rigidity in the implementation of laws, regulations and policies, and to purge the phenomenon of “countermeasures against policy” among Party cadres first, which is also the way to maintain the advanced character of the Communist Party. This is also to maintain the advanced nature of the Communist Party. Otherwise, “there is a policy at the top, there are countermeasures at the bottom” will be endless, the rigidity of the policy and law will be difficult to achieve. [32] “Policies from above, countermeasures from below” devouring reform is the main cause of slackness in solving many social problems in China, and only after solving this problem is it possible to further solve other social problems caused by it. As a higher level, we should rectify the ineffective inspection of policy implementation; as a lower level, we should not be clever and try to implement policies; as a central government, we should make more effective initiatives to rectify the phenomenon as soon as possible.




“上有政策,下有对策”是当前(有近几十年的历史)普遍存在于中国各级党委和政府工作中的一种极其不良的现象。 [1]  该现象在中国常体现为下级违反上级的极多政策、法规乃至法律;有令不行、有禁不止,在贯彻执行政策部署上大打折扣 [2]  。而临领导视察等检查,早有通知下来,下级便会充分准备、造假,瞒天过海,不了了之。 [3]  而即便走漏了风声,下级可以通过谄媚上级的方式瞒下去。最后必然有更高的上级不知情,几十年了这种现象都“顺理成章”地存在了下去。 [3-5] 


  1. 现象背景
  2. 发生事例
  3. ▪ 学校事例1
  4. ▪ 学校事例2
  5. ▪ 学校事例3
  6. ▪ 学校事例4
  1. ▪ 网络事例
  2. ▪ 国外事例
  3. 产生原因
  4. ▪ 网上信访工作问题
  5. ▪ 被迫造假 应付检查
  6. 整顿举措
  1. 评论
  2. ▪ 吞噬改革
  3. ▪ 科学发展之敌
  4. 危害
  5. 改进建议


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“上有政策,下有对策”是当前中国普遍存在于各级党委和政府工作中的一种极其不良的现象 [1]  ,该现象泛滥的同时导致中国蔓延“高要求”(因为该现象有吞噬改革的恶果,所以改革将无法落实,也无法以实效为鉴,较大的改革无法建立出完整的体系,放在这样的现状中一些改革提出的新要求就会显得过高;改革中不合理的内容也无法以实效为鉴、予以改正,带来持久的负面影响)、造假风 [3]  、虚伪风 [3]  、阿谀奉承风、举报懈怠风(由于“上有政策,下有对策”普遍存在,导致对于个体机构违规行为的举报成效甚小;中国投诉举报工作存在很大问题,又通常取得不了任何成效;又出于人们对所在机构的谄谀)。

该现象在中国以外偶尔有之,不成严重的社会问题,在网络上很少能其他国家的关于该社会问题的报道:比如打开有道的英汉互译翻译这个词,例句只有一句反映其他国家的社会问题。 [6]  社会舆论趋向认为“上有政策,下有对策”是中国的严重社会问题,例如:“‘上有政策,下有对策’不断是中国政策执行的一大顽疾。 [6]  ”



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例如:1.湖北企业偷排污水进长江,设假排污管应付检查。 [4]  2.老树插新枝 只为应付检查。 [5]  3.许多政策的创新精神一般都无法被领会,人们固守往日作风,但是却可以轻轻松松瞒天过海。4.常年来中国违法的教师体罚学生现象屡禁不止 [7]  。2014年初教育部发布《中小学教师违反职业道德行为处理办法》 [8] 

,仍然:此后仅被曝事件就层出不穷。5.“实现从应试教育到素质教育的转变,是教育领域的一场深刻变革,既是一场攻坚战,也是一场持久战。 [9]  ”,落实一条已有的法律规定:“义务教育必须贯彻国家的教育方针,实施素质教育…… [10]  ”却成了中国的一个长期目标。6.南京多处街道冒出“遮羞墙” 挡垃圾应付检查 [11]  。7.上有政策下有对策 员工“发明”永不迟到打卡法 [12]  .……上有政策,下有对策存在于各行各业中,比比皆是,多如牛毛。



应付检查花样多 领导视察变身“全民造假”

应付检查花样多 领导视察变身“全民造假”(3张)老师:每学期学校开学都有或多或少的流失生,主要是因为学习进取心不强、学习跟不上或出去打工。流失生多少也是一项学校考评的内容,教育局来检查时,就会私刻一些假公章办假转学或者借读证明,或者在班里放些空桌椅和书,在检查时说有学生请了病假。




学生:一般要是有卫生检查,学校第八节课都不上,学生们都在打扫卫生。而且公开课的时候,老师会让每个人都举起手来,叫的一般都是举左手的人。 [13] 


吴武洲在2003年声称,他几年前曾在一个乡村中学教书,曾目睹过应付检查之类事情的全过程。当时他校承担了全乡农民的扫盲任务,因为经济上的原因,农民的心思都用在挣钱上,没有工夫来学习。后来,上面说要来检查,据说来的官还不小,因为通知得早,他们就赶紧把学校废弃的房子利用起来,让学生打扫一新,还租来周围的鱼塘、菜地,并花钱请了很多已经毕业的学生来充当“文盲”,检查那日,这些冒名顶替的“文盲”全部顺利过关。当然还少不了野味山珍的招待,来检查的人很高兴,当场表扬了他们的工作。在这一事件中,他也参与做了一些工作,比如说墙报、黑板报的书写、文盲名册的“造假”。时过境迁,这时再回去看看,那所有的一切怕是早已落满了灰尘。 [3] 





比如在拖堂占课的现象泛滥 [14]  ,体育课通常严重开设不足 [14]  这些现状的背后,都有这些“教育部要求老师不能拖堂 [15]  “、”教育部:严禁挤占学生体育课 [16]  “、”……其中小学1-2年级每周4课时,小学3-6年级和初中每周3课时,高中每周2课时;没有体育课的当天,学校必须在下午课后组织学生进行一小时集体体育锻炼;每天上午统一安排25-30分钟的大课间体育活动。…… [17]  “这些已经落空的鲜为人知的国家级法规。


“上有政策,下有对策“的恶果” [18]

网络世界的游戏也是上有政策,下有对策。像淘米网络科技有限公司、广州百田信息科技有限公司也是类似的公司,打着儿童游戏的旗号,比如出的游戏赛尔号:1.2014年60元的精灵至少一周出一个(进行必要养成又需至少20元),4月末开始经常价格升格到近百元;2.明目张胆地在游戏中提到“土豪”一词;3.使用游戏bug要封号;4.由于2013年开始每周都至少出一只昂贵的RMB精灵等,导致2013年年底开始但小有所成的玩家必需有充值上千元;5.对社会很不诚信(比如所谓网络游戏防沉迷系统仅对已经失去关注度的玩点进行收益限制;向媒体声明夜间严格关闭而实际早已被4399小游戏破译夜间版,至今夜间版运行顺利;精灵购买后很容易被当成可以永久使用,但实际不久后将被未来等价精灵完全淘汰,整体价位的提升更加剧了淘汰速度)(能体现全国泛滥的虚伪风);6.2014年有连续5周持续消费送礼活动,最高诱导充值500元;7.诱导明显无脑大肆挥霍的消费行为……而法律、文件上却是规定:“只有18岁以上的公民才能购买网游产品。”“允许使用游戏bug。”……奇虎360被百度指控有侵犯网权的行为,上级一直没有处理,它出的游戏也非常喜欢坑孩子的钱。还有很多类似的网络科技公司。又比如现代中国的网吧,非常普遍,都是贴着“禁止未成年人入内”的标签,违法地广泛招揽未成年人入内。 [18] 





少有的国外事例:1.美国信用卡新法上路 上有政策下有对策 [19]  。2.上有政策下有对策 日本垃圾邮件变本加厉 [20]  。3.“上有政策 下有对策”:英地方官员收入不降反升 [21]  ……


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这些现象与局长舒晓琴的要求:“网上信访做到事事有着落 件件有回音 [22]  ”完全相悖。

1.经常发生的超时办理情况:国务院信访条例有规定:“信访事项应当自受理之日起60日内办结;情况复杂的,经本行政机关负责人批准,可以适当延长办理期限,但延长期限不得超过30日,并告知信访人延期理由。法律、行政法规另有规定的,从其规定。” [23]  然而如图(图中反映内容有永不继续办理的趋势):严重的超时办理情况却发生了,更谈不上其它规定的落实。当事信访人后来找到了当地信访局催促出结果,事后半个多月仍没有出具。该信访人提出的很多信访建议件也经常办理超时。在网络上也能看到对办理超时现象的控诉。


2.不作为的投诉栏目:网上投诉栏目有声明:“国家投诉受理办公室不受理下列投诉事项:3、有关地方或部门已经受理且在办理期限内的(国务院《信访条例》规定:信访事项应当自受理之日起60日内办结,情况复杂的可延长至90日内办结); [24]  ” 然而如图,有关超时办理投诉件的再次发送、超时办理情况反映的投诉件次次都被这个栏目机械地回绝了。尽管添加例如:注意:此为2013-11-25 教学管理 2013——2014学年****违规行为投诉 的再次发送,原投诉3个多月未给出处理结果,办理已超时,※违反国务院信访条例,※按规定应受理再次发送件。请国家信访局受理此再次发送件! 这样的说明,仍会被机械回绝。该栏目也不处理投诉件中关于超时办理情况的反映。


3.公开电话是空号:国家信访局公开电话 [25]  实际是空号。 综上这些现象,信访事项的办理就很难依法进行、求得结果、取得实效了。




被迫造假 应付检查


一面是高要求,一面是提前通知。受检单位本来就没有这个能力达到这样的要求,但有了因”通知”而得的时间,自然就有了各种对策。反正检查时间往往不长,走马观花地四处看看,表面功夫做足了,一般都能顺利通过,如果把检查组伺候好了,说不定还能成为“优秀”。因此,为了应付检查,受检单位常常投入了大量的人力物力,这些投入除了换来一些硬件设施的补充———有些实施以后也可能用不着———大部分投入在检查过后就没用了,或者说浪费掉了。 [3] 


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  1. 习近平:决不允许“上有政策、下有对策”2013年1月22日,国家主席习近平在北京指出,要防止和克服地方和部门保护义、本位主义,决不允许“上有政策、下有对策”,决不允许有令不行、有禁不止,决不允许在贯彻执行中央决策部署上打折扣、做选择、搞变通。 [2] 
  2. 中纪委:执行中央政策搞“下有对策”将严肃究责2012年06月11日,中纪委副书记何勇强调,要加大责任追究力度,对执行中央政策措施搞“上有政策、下有对策”,有令不行、有禁不止的,要督促有关地方和部门严肃追究相关领导和人员的责任。何勇说,要把发现和督促整改现象作为一项重要任务,灵活运用检查方法,善于借助高科技监管平台,深入查找现象,并督促有关地方和部门认真整改;要加大责任追究力度,对执行中央政策措施搞“上有政策、下有对策”,有令不行、有禁不止的,对不严格履行基本建设程序,在项目审批、招标投标、资金管理使用、工程质量等方面出现违规行为的,对监管不力,行政不作为、乱作为发生现象的,对掩盖现象、拒不整改或者虚报谎报整改情况的,要督促有关地方和部门严肃追究相关领导和人员的责任;要搞好与其他监管监督工作的衔接,做到信息互通、成果共享,形成综合效应。 [26] 
  3. 刘云山:改作风不耍花样 解决上有政策下有对策2013年3月28日下午至29日,刘云山说,抓落实需要好的作风。党的十八大后,中央政治局制定出台改进作风八项规定,一定要坚定不移贯彻落实。要有高度的思想自觉,深刻认识作风是党的形象、党的生命,切实解决“不以为然”的现象。要拿出管用有效的措施,以踏石留印、抓铁有痕的劲头改作风,切实解决“只说不做、虚晃一枪”的问题。要不折不扣地改作风,不搞变通、不耍花样,切实解决“上有政策、下有对策”的问题。人民群众对改进作风普遍赞同,寄予很高的期望,中央政治局必须在“常长”二字上下功夫,坚持常态化、长期抓,完善相关制度,建立长效机制,加强督促检查。 [27] 
  4. 郭金龙:执行党的纪律决不允许“上有政策、下有对策”郭金龙说,北京作为首都,必须以首善的标准模范执行党的政治纪律,在政治上、思想上和行动上始终与以习近平同志为总书记的党中央保持高度一致,自觉维护中央权威,确保中央政令在北京畅通。在执行党的纪律现象上决不能含糊,决不允许“上有政策、下有对策”,决不允许有令不行、有禁不止,决不允许打折扣、做选择、搞变通。在贯彻落实中央的路线方针政策上,决不允许散布违背党的理论和路线方针政策的意见,不允许公开发表违背中央决定的言论,不允许泄露党和国家秘密,不允许参与各种非法组织和非法活动,不允许制造、传播政治谣言及丑化党和国家形象的言论。 [28] 


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建设廉洁、高效政府需要树立准备打持久战的思想,改变有些高官及政府一把手的权力欲需要时间,扭转一些地方政府奢靡之风,让他们依法履职、发挥模范带头作用需要时限;在“深水区”深化体制改革、保持经济社会持续稳定发展需要积累精力;摈弃“上有政策,下有对策”等消极思想、塑造清廉高效的政府行政新文化更需要正能量的不断积累等等。因此,实现廉洁政府、高效政府的目标绝非一朝一夕,需要一届又一届的中央政府经常抓、长期抓,更需要一届又一届地方政府持之以恒地贯彻落实。 [29] 










六是“对抗性”执行上级政策。也有一些地方对上级政策公然置之不理,我行我素,拒绝执行国家政策法规。比如,江苏某钢铁有限公司于2002年在常州市建设大型钢铁联合项目过程中,当地政府及地方相关行政管理部门违反国家有关法律法规,明目张胆地越权审批项目,对企业违法行为睁一只眼、闭一只眼。该公司未取得环保部门批复环境影响报告书擅自开工建设,违反土地管理法,未取得合法土地征地批准文件即动工建设。又比如,2003年到2006年,某市政府及有关部门违反土地利用总体规划和城市总体规划、违法批准征收集体土地14877亩,用于某高校园区建设。有关部门报经国务院同意责令该市纠正土地违法行为后,该市不但不进行整改,还公然扩大违法征占土地。 [30] 

沈小平 安徽省委组织部研究室


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应付领导视察的手段,有阿谀奉承,有弄虚作假,极不清廉。就连实行教育的学校,也不折不扣地这样去做,如此“以身作则”,会让广大学生每天耳濡目染与比如初中思想品德课教材观点完全违背的恶劣行为,与曾子杀猪的教育观点完全相反。 [13] 


下级处处违反政策,上级时时帮着瞒天过海 [4-5]  [13]  ,每一套规定都很有可能成为一纸空文,每一章法律都极有可能流于空泛,很多机构都充斥了虚伪腐败,使得社会管理被极大地扰乱。

极大地懈怠了社会的进步(吞噬改革) [29] 



当前很多领域都几乎找不出一个基本合政策的人,即便某个人自觉遵守政策法规,然而”上有政策,下有对策“是整体吞噬改革的,政策本身存在的不足之处、难实行之处、现象就无法完善,导致人无论如何(由于政策无法完善,导致存在矛盾的不同政策规定无法解除矛盾)也无法贯彻执行政策。 [5]  [7]  [13]  [29] 




按理来讲,民主国家注意不使中央政府具有至高无上的权力,政府权力分散到地区和地方,地方政府必须最大程度地向人民敞开和对他们的要求做出反应 [31]  ……然而如本词条“现象背景”一栏所述,全国泛滥举报懈怠风;如“产生原因”一栏下“网上信访工作问题”所述,连国家信访局的工作都存在如此严重的问题。人民实际无法管理到政府的工作,民主被极大地践踏了。


编辑 播报

解决好“上有政策,下有对策”问题的根本途径就是体现在执行法律、法规和政策是要有刚性,对于“以对策对政策”的现象,在党内干部中首先要肃清,这也是保持共产党的先进性所在。不然“上有政策,下有对策”将没完没了,政策法律的刚性就难以实现。 [32]  “上有政策,下有对策”吞噬改革,是当前中国诸多社会问题解决的主要懈怠原因,解决了这个问题,进一步解决它所导致的其它社会问题才有可能。作为上级,应整改对政策落实无实效的视察工作;作为下级,不可自作小聪明,要努力落实政策;作为中央,应尽快作出更多的有效的举措全方面整顿该现象。


About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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