China is witnessing a new upsurge in the number of students returning home after studying abroad, with the number increasing by an average 13 percent each year, said Wang Xiaochu, vice minister of personnel.
More students are expected to come back, experts say, thanks to the central government's policy to continue supporting Chinese students to study abroad and encourage them to come back and serve the country.
The sixth China Overseas Human Resources Exchange Fair, which opened in Guangdong Province earlier this week, saw more than 3,500 Chinese students coming from around the world, 10 times over the first fair six years ago.
The government will give equal importance to the training of talented professionals and creating conditions for those studying abroad to return, said Zhang Xinsheng, vice minister of education.
Thanks to a healthy domestic economic environment and favorable policies, an increasing number of Chinese students have chosen to return to start their own businesses.
In Beijing, around 5,000 returned students have created more than 2,000 IT companies in Zhongguancun Science Park, said Liu Zhuojun, deputy director of the science park management committee.
In Shanghai, returned students, with a total registered capital of US$400 million, run about 2,450 enterprises.
In science-related governmental institutions, half the senior cadres have overseas education background and more than 50 percent of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have studied abroad, according to Liu Yanhua, vice-minister of science and technology, who was also a returned student.
"China has provided returned students with a good environment in terms of start-up capital and legislation,'' said Chen Youbin, a PhD holder at the US-based Colorado State University.
Wu Qiong, a graduate of the University of Toronto in Canada, said it was China's fast economic development and numerous business opportunities that attracted them back.
Yet some students returned because of strong emotional ties with China.
Life is difficult in foreign countries because of cultural and social differences, said Sun Genlou, from Canada's Saint Mary's University.
(Xinhua News Agency Janauary 2, 2004)