The Chinese government unveiled a new policy today to encourage its large number of students studying abroad to work for their motherland in various ways.
The policy was released in the Decisions on Encouraging Students Overseas to Serve the Motherland in Various Forms by Ministries of Personnel, Education, Science and Technology, Public Security and Finance.
It is China's first systematic regulation on overseas students' rewards, intellectual property rights protection, leaving and entering China, and agent services for talents.
"The policy provides a more convenient and attractive environment for students studying abroad to serve their motherland, " Liu Baoying, a senior official of the Ministry of Personnel told Xinhua.
Overseas students deserve recognition and rewards in conformity with international practice for what they have done for the country, the policy says.
They can exchange their taxed income for foreign currencies and remittance abroad, according to the new policy.
For their convenient exit and entry, China has also promised to grant necessary credentials and visas, while providing financial support for projects of promising market potential.
Though China has always attached great importance to students overseas, the notion that they can only serve the country by settling down in the mainland is deeply rooted among many people.
However, the new policy is meant to end the thinking that only those students who return to China are patriotic.
"They will win respect, encouragement and rewards by the government for their contributions to China, whether they live at home or abroad," the policy states.
Since China's reform and opening up in 1978 when students began to be permitted to study outside the country, some 130,000 Chinese overseas students have returned while some 250,000 have remained abroad.
According to the policy, students can serve the motherland via part-time jobs, cooperation in research, investment and founding new companies, human resources training and acting as intermediates without having to live on the mainland.
"It's a breakthrough in China's personnel managing system and its concept of talents," said Wang Enyong, a professor at the Peking University specializing in human resources managing research.
This is also a remarkable step signaling that the country wants to attract more professionals familiar with the international rules related to the economic globalization in preparation for the country's entry to the World Trade Organization, he added.
(Xinhua News Agency 08/19/2001)