An in-depth study of Chinese social mobility between 1371 and 1904, conducted by researchers at Hong Kong University (see here), found that the state exams for senior administrative positions had been producing social mobility by employing many lowborn people by the government. At the same time the Chinese society degraded precisely because it followed the "religion" of eternal values, which was contrary to the idea of mobility. Those state exams exemplified the "religion" too, since the candidates were required to memorize what Confucius had written two millennia earlier.
The mobility was supposed to be social, but the Chinese society was demobilized. It is no coincidence that in the 19th century the British Lord Elgin wrote: "Uninvited, and not by the most appropriate methods, we have destroyed the barriers with which those ancient nations tried to hide from the world, at least in the case of China, the rotten remains of their disappearing civilization." Which shows that by social mobility we have mistakenly chosen to denote the personal rise of some lowborn Chinese, but not the demobilization of the Chinese society. Now you know why I started with this particular quote from Dávila.