táo grapes

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葡萄酒 pú táo jiǔ wine
China sage book January 2015. Chinasage is now available in convenient eBook format. Click here for details.

The oldest administrative system

China had a rigid administrative system for thousands of years that remained pretty constant up until 1911. The cornerstone was that appointments were based on scholastic merit and not patronage. A well paid, sedentary job as an official was a greatly prized aim in life and millions of Chinese people studied hard to pass the entrance examinations. Over the centuries the system became very complicated with 98 identified grades of official. Officials did not remain in one post for their working life, they and their family were moved every few years to diifferent places and/or different departments. A separate division of government checked performance and recommended moves and promotions. Only very few made it to the highest grades with access to the Emperor and became fabulously rich.
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