Chinese government works completely different from the US government – at least from the organizational perspective. It is more like a company than US government.
US Governments are like Companies
In US, there are so many governments that are like the many companies in the market place. There may be bigger one like Federal Government, or the State Governments, just like the Fortune 500 companies. There are also many smaller one, like city government, or some water supply governments…
These governments does not necessarily reports to each other. They are just like peers.
Chinese Government is like One Company
The Chinese government is one hierarchy. It is like this:
The district head report to city mayor.
The city mayor reports to province head.
Province head reports to central government.
It is maybe one of the largest organization in the world – besides the Chinese army.
All the government officials have an internal “level”. It is just like the level in US companies. People may have different roles, but the level system is consistent across all the Chinese government, including state-owned companies.
That is the reason a government official can often (always) be assigned from the province head of Hubei, and then to the mayor of Shanghai. A mayor’s next role may be the CEO of a state-owned enterprise.
This is something that many people in US does not understand.