||Disciplining and reward are two strategies usually adopted by the state to enhance its personnel control of public officials. While much attention has been given almost exclusively on reward by both theoretical and empirical literature, this study focuses on the aspect of cadre disciplining and examines how the Chinese Party state disciplines its malfeasant cadres who have responsibilities in accidents or incidents. I argue that, there exists a ranking bias in Chinese cadre disciplining, that is, to impose lighter punishments on high-ranking cadres compared to their counterparts at lower ranks. Three categories of cases on severe peasants’ burden incidents, coal mine accidents, and environmental protection incidents have been analyzed to confirm such finding. I attribute this pattern to the state’s concern of minimizing the costs induced by punishment.