Tue, Jan 20, 2009 - Page 5 News List

More than 1,000 caught cheating on exams: Xinhua

AFP , SHANGHAI

More than 1,000 applicants were caught cheating on China’s civil servant exams, with some using spy technology such as micro-earpieces and wireless transmitters, state media reported yesterday.

More than 300 were caught in the act during the Nov. 30 exam, while about 700 others were deemed to have cheated because their papers “shared much conformity,” Xinhua news agency reported.

The State Bureau of Civil Servants’ announcement that a record number of cheaters were caught highlights the difficulties for the Chinese Communist Party in stamping out rampant corruption among its ranks.

“We can hardly trust these people to cheat only on exams. What if they cheat in the exercise of public power once they are put in a public position?” the English-language China Daily wrote in an editorial yesterday. “Such dishonesty in exams raises suspicions about their motivations to get access to public power.”

Most of the cheaters were caught in Beijing and in Liaoning Province, Xinhua reported.

More than half used technology provided by illegal organizations that provided answers in exchange for money, the newspaper said.

Some high-tech cheaters used carefully disguised wireless transmitters to obtain answers, while others received radio signals through tiny earpieces, Xinhua cited the bureau as saying.

In a country where the authorities maintain firm rule, a position in the public sector is synonymous with power.

Demand for work in the public sector is particularly strong this year as it remains a haven of stability at a time when millions of workers across China face being laid off.

A record 775,000 people took the exam to compete for 13,500 national civil servant jobs.

Cheaters would be disqualified from the exam and in serious cases be barred from retaking civil servant exams for five years, Xinhua reported.

The China Daily wrote that offenders deserved the “severest punishment” and said that in ancient times imperial exam cheats were executed.

“Both designers of the exam system and emperors, who were the top leaders of the government, knew how dangerous it could be to put power in the hands of a corrupt, immoral person,” the paper wrote.

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