CPC taps into foreign brainpower in training officials

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 19, 2011
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Foreign big names in politics, business and academia are no stranger to podiums at cadre schools in China, but as the country grows interdependent with the outside world, their previously occasional lectures have become a compulsory course in the curriculum.

Last week, David O. Beim, professor of the Columbia Business School, held a course on global financial crisis at the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong, a national cadre school in Shanghai.

The course, "China's Economic Future under a Global Perspective," was the longest one in a three-week financial training program for 50 middle-level officials from China's financial regulators, financial institutions, and state-owned enterprises under the central government.

The course resonated with program members so well that questions were raised one after another and discussions went over class time. Some of the members even asked the professor to continue the course at night.

Liu Qingsong, a program member from the research center of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said, "With a working experience of over a decade at top international financial institutions and over two decades of teaching experience, Professor Beim is masterful in combining theories with reality."

The reason for employing foreign expertise is straightforward, as the acting vice president of the academy Feng Jun put it, "In a globalized world, a globalized outlook is essential for competent cadres of the CPC."

However, Feng pointed out that a globalized outlook is not a Western or an American one but is one always viewing our work ability against world-class standards."

CPC cadres are also going abroad for studies. It has become common for cadres in coastal areas to go on foreign study trips and all of the recently promoted cadres in provinces in the Yangtze River and Zhujiang River deltas have at least a half year of foreign study experience.

In the country's western regions like Chongqing and Gansu, more officials are being sent abroad for advanced studies of subjects that are important to local development, such as public administration, environmental protection and tourism administration.

"In the past, we had to go abroad to access first-class educational resources, but we can now invite these resources into China as the country is becoming the focus of attention worldwide," said Shi Haining, director of the financial service bureau of Shanghai's Pudong New Area.

Under the leadership of Shi, with a financial experience in Wall Street, Shanghai has commissioned four world-renowned educational institutions to train its officials.

Throughout this year, about 300 Shanghai government officials and corporate executives will receive tailor-made training programs from the Harvard Business School, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the business and education schools of the Columbia University.

Having spent two days attending lectures at the Pudong academy, Michael Malefakis, associate dean of the Columbia Business School, said he was amazed at the knowledge of international affairs of the Chinese cadres.

He said that he might have found the answer to China's rapid development in the last 30 years in the fact that it trains its cadres with world-class facilities, methods and concepts.

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