Suggestions to improve the quality of life for expats

By Sava Hassan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, March 1, 2017
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During my enjoyable stay in China over the past 14 years, I have had the opportunity to encounter and interact with a great number of foreigners who share my profound love for China.

Through our discussions of life in China, they have had nothing but praise for the efforts exerted by the Chinese government and people to make their stay in China a memorable experience.

For the sake of objectivity, they mentioned minor inconveniences that tarnish their good fortune of having the chance to share their experience and knowledge with their students.

Motivated by my deep desire to help my beloved China and my fellow expats, I came up with some constructive yet objective suggestions to improve the quality of life for foreigners in China. I decided to focus on the following issues:

Green card:

It is too obvious that China must be cautious and selective in choosing the expats who deserve to be offered green cards with their multiple privileges. However, the Chinese government ought to facilitate the process for those who qualify and hold unequivocal interest in being an active participant in the development of the Chinese society with their sincere efforts.

Foreign talent:

I do believe that China is exerting every possible effort to recruit foreign talent and encourage them to stay while sharing their knowledge and experiences with their Chinese counterparts.

Nonetheless, bearing in mind that most foreign experts prefer to come to China after retiring from their positions in their native countries, some age restrictions may diminish the effectiveness of the recruiting process. With the miraculous advancement in the medical field, people live longer with healthy lifestyles. Consequently, extending the age limit to 70 permits Chinese society to tremendously benefit from the expertise of foreign talent.

The life of expats in China:

Residing in a foreign country is difficult, to say the least.

From my own experience, China and the Chinese people did an excellent job in creating a friendly atmosphere for foreigners to coexist with their fellow Chinese.

However, foreigners need to be heard pertinent to their concerns regarding living in China and take necessary measures to transcend the obstacles that may impede their being full participants in the Chinese life. They should be allowed to express their views without fear as long as those views respect the Chinese traditions and customs. To accomplish that objective, the Chinese media ought to provide them with the proper venues to express their thoughts and views.

I hope that implementing the above suggestions will be helpful in the process of finding effective means to encourage new foreign experts to come to China, and provide an incentive to those who already reside in China to extend their stay.

My suggestions may open the door for others to participate in the discussion with their own thoughts.

That will lead to reaching mutual understanding between Chinese and foreigners.

The author is a Canadian teacher in China. The views are his own.

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