More than 580,000 Chinese students have gone abroad to pursue advanced studies since China began its reform and open-up strategy in 1978, and 150,000 of them have returned to China.
Along with the country's rapid economic growth, overseas Chinese students have been returning at an annual rate of 13 percent, according to information from a forum on mission and development opportunities of overseas Chinese students in the new era held in Beijing on Sunday.
While adopting a policy of supporting students to study abroad, encouraging them to return and giving them full freedom in returning or going abroad, China has also worked out a range of measures to encourage more overseas students to return, including earmarking special funds to help them start up their own companies and erecting programs to give awards to successful scholars who once studied overseas.
According to the information, returned overseas Chinese students have started up 5,000 businesses across the country, with the annual output value exceeding 10 billion yuan (US$1.21 billion).
At Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park in northwestern Beijing, for instance, one sixth of the businesses are operated by returned overseas Chinese students. Half of the returned overseas Chinese students have made their own scientific and technological achievements, of which 44 percent are patented technologies.
(People's Daily November 17, 2003)