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Personnel Minister Seeks Talents Balance

China will foster more senior professionals of high caliber and people mastering advanced technology and foreign languages this year to cope with challenges brought about by its entrance to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The government will adopt practical measures to lure back more overseas Chinese studying abroad to serve the country and carve out careers for themselves.

Addressing a national conference yesterday in Beijing, Minister of Personnel Zhang Xuezhong said his ministry is joining hands with authorities concerned to thrash out a proposal aimed at selecting returning Chinese high-tech students as leaders of the fields.

As the number of job opportunities decreases in some developed countries due to the sluggish world economy, "China ought to seize the opportunity to encourage more overseas Chinese with genuine ability and learning to come back and run high-tech enterprises," Zhang said.

Zhang urged local governments to provide better services so those returning professionals could establish and run high-tech parks inside China.

Chinese people abroad have been encouraged to come home in the past, but the latest policies go farther by promising better jobs and preferential treatment when they return, including higher salaries and free entry to and from the country.

Since 1978, about 400,000 Chinese have seized the chance to work or study in more than 100 foreign countries or regions. This exodus has continued during the past two decades.

So far, more than 130,000 people have returned, according to the latest official statistics.

Some 60 industrial or high-tech parks have been set up throughout China with government approval. Returning Chinese experts run more than 2,000 high-tech enterprises within these parks.

China is facing fierce competition for talented people this year following its entrance to the WTO and the subsequent influx of more foreign firms, Zhang said.

To win such a contest, Zhang's ministry has outlined a plan for fostering a large number of talented people this year.

Under the plan, more working stations for post-doctoral study for senior researchers will be established throughout China by universities, research institutions and State-owned large enterprises.

The Ministry of Personnel and its local agencies have pledged to simplify official procedures for approving such stations and cancel quotas for their establishment.

While improving administration for experts, the government will choose more young and middle-age professionals as outstanding experts to enjoy special subsidies.

To collect data about senior experts, State and provincial databases are about to be set up this year with hotlines for people seeking key details and contacts, Zhang said.

It is hoped such a resource can help foster more talented people for China.

(China Daily January 6, 2002)

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