Looking Back: A Stable Economy
  During the ninth Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000), China has made remarkable progress in streamlining the central government departments and ministries through institutional reforms.

The number of functionaries has been reduced by half to the present 16,000, according to the State Development Planning Commission.

The reform focused on adjusting and downsizing specialty departments directly in charge of economic management, while strengthening departments concerned with macro-economic control and law-enforcement.

Now the State Council, China's cabinet, consists of 29 major organizations, down from the previous 40.

A large number of high-caliber government functionaries with higher educational backgrounds moved into enterprises or grassroots government units.

While functionaries staying at their posts became younger, the percentage of functionaries below the age of 40 increased by 5.7 percent. Functionaries with a postgraduate degree or Ph.D. degree grew 6.8 percent.

(China Daily 10/07/2000)