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Overseas Chinese urged to come home
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The government will continue to promote policies aimed at enticing skilled overseas Chinese to return home to develop their careers and build an innovative country.

"It is the talent pool that empowers China to compete in the campaign of global innovation," Wan Gang, science and technology minister, said during the 5th Overseas Chinese Forum Worldwide yesterday in Beijing.

The government has always endeavored to cultivate the nation's technological talent base, and its human resources in regard to the technology fields are now among the best in the world, Wan said.

China is emerging as an ever-popular destination for foreign students, with numbers steadily rising over the past few years, he said.

The country already ranks sixth in the world's overseas study market, according to the latest research of the China Association of Science and Technology.

"However, the market is still hungry for cutting-edge technological talents," Wan said at the forum, which attracted more than 200 overseas Chinese from 14 foreign countries.

"The forum aims to be a bridge for overseas Chinese to learn about the favorable policies of the Chinese government, and share cooperative purposes with domestic peers," Li Haifeng, the chief of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, said.

"I made the right decision to come back to China and restart my career here," Xue Lan, chief of Tsinghua University's Public Policy and Management School, said, after studying and working in America for about 20 years before the 1990s.

However, Xue said that China still has a long way to go to promote "trilateral networks among academia, state and industry".

The current global financial crisis could increase world unemployment by an estimated 20 million, according to the International Labour Office earlier this month.

Insiders said that although the crisis might also plague China, it could serve as opportunity to entice more overseas Chinese home.

"My former colleagues in America call me every day to consult me on the latest information and chances to work in China since the recent economic crisis hit America," Wang Dazong, general manager of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company, who studied in America and worked for General Motors, told China Daily.

The Overseas Chinese Forum will finish today.

(China Daily October 29, 2008)

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