English: Cloze Test for Upcoming Exams – Set 119

Directions: In the passage given below there are 10 blanks. Every blank has A PAIR of four alternative words given in options (A),(B),(C), and (D). You have to tell which pair is APPROPRIATE according to the context. If all are appropriate then mark your answer as “E”.

At the start of 2014 a senior official in the statistics bureau of Liaoning, an industrial province in north-eastern China, told his army of boffins to cultivate a spirit of innovation in their work. “Liberate your minds,” he ____1____ an annual planning meeting. They took him at his word. In one of the biggest scandals to rock the ____2____ world of Chinese economic data, the government admitted this month that Liaoning had faked its fiscal data from 2011 to 2014, inflating revenues by about 20%.

For those inclined to distrust all Chinese numbers, the announcement was simple____3____. But a closer look paints a different picture: of central authorities wanting to get a better read on the economy but being ____4____ at the local level—and by one of the usual suspects at that.

In manipulating statistics, Liaoning has form. When Li Keqiang, now prime minister, was Communist Party chief of the province in the 2000s, he confided to America’s ambassador to China that its GDP figures were “man-made” and unreliable. Mr Li’s comments have often been cited by critics of Chinese data, though his concerns focused just on Liaoning itself.

Over the past few years, suspicions ____5____ that Liaoning had been up to its old tricks again. National auditors stepped up their scrutiny and reported a few isolated cases of counties overstating their fiscal revenues. But Chen Qiufa, Liaoning’s governor, recently revealed that the ____6____ had been widespread and long-lasting. The nadir was 2014, when the province declared fiscal revenues that were 23% higher than those actually collected.

Mr Chen said the government had since cleaned up the problem, publishing accurate figures from the start of 2015. But the ____7____ has cast a long shadow. There are indications that Liaoning’s statisticians also ____8____ with investment figures. The province reported a jaw-dropping 63% fall in fixed-asset investment last year . If real, this would have tipped the economy into a severe recession; instead, the suspicion is that previously overstated data were to blame. Even so, the fall may well have tainted the government’s gauge of the national economy. After all, before it came clean, only six of China’s 31 provinces contributed a bigger share of China’s GDP than Liaoning. Its apparent collapse dragged China’s overall investment growth last year down from 11% to 8%, according to Shen Jianguang of Mizuho Securities. This, in turn, might have led the government to deliver more monetary stimulus than was needed, he says.

The heavy hand of the state has already come down on cadres in Liaoning. Another former Communist Party chief of the province was ____9____ from public office last year for corruption. The government has also removed about half of the province’s legislators—more than 500 in all—for obtaining their positions through fraud.

China is trying to come up with new ways to stop officials, whether in Liaoning or elsewhere, from cooking their books. The national bureau of statistics has launched an online system where 1m large companies now report data directly to the central authorities, cutting out local intermediaries. The tone is also shifting. The focus of this year’s annual meeting for the Liaoning statistics bureau was on doing a “solid job”. Less inspiring than the ____10____ of a few years ago, perhaps—but the message could not have been clearer.

  1. alerted, warned
    advised, cautioned
    exhorted, admonished
    heartened, adjured
    All are correct
    Option E


  2. obscure, dingy
    murky, gloomy
    ablaze, hazy
    lucid, dreary
    All are correct
    Option B


  3. vindication, exoneration
    absolution, condemnation
    justification, castigation
    pardon, convention
    All are correct
    Option A
    vindication = the action of clearing someone of blame or suspicion.


  4. delayed, abetted
    hampered, accomodated
    impeded, obstructed
    frustrated, assisted
    All are correct
    Option C


  5. levelled, middled
    planed, dropped
    surfaced, emerged
    lunged, jumped
    All are correct
    Option C


  6. deceit, integrity
    deception, cheat
    guile, candor
    swindle, honor
    All are correct
    Option B


  7. perversion, castigation
    forgery, authentication
    fabrication, adjustment
    falsification, distortion
    All are correct
    Option D


  8. squirmed, swindled
    pottered, puttered
    messed, played
    fiddled, fidgeted
    All are correct
    Option E


  9. eliminated, impelled
    banned, blocked
    expelled, ousted
    exiled, hired
    All are correct
    Option C


  10. rhetoric, oratory
    eloquence, active
    elocution, quiet
    discourse, conciseness
    All are correct
    Option A



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