Chinese leaders, bent on drastically reorganizing their bloated bureaucracy, seem to be taking a page out of President Reagan's book.
Some economic ministries have been asked to cut their staff by more than half. Informed sources say various machine-building ministries, established on the Soviet model in the early years of the People's Republic, will be turned into state corporations, with ministers becoming general managers.
A whole flock of aging vice-ministers are being retired as ''advisers'' enjoying the use of official cars, housing, medical care, and access to documents. Some high officials are even being promoted one grade as an inducement to retirement at higher pay and with better housing.
In the new corporations authority will depend on technical expertise and managerial know-how, not alone on the year a comrade ''joined the revolution.