Ex­pats asked to share their vi­sions for a bet­ter China

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By SU ZHOU in Rizhao, Shan­dong prov­ince suzhou@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Be­sides con­tribut­ing to tech­no­log­i­cal, economic and cul­tural ex­changes, for­eign ex­perts in China are en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate in the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s pol­i­cy­mak­ing process by giv­ing rec­om­men­da­tions.

“China is now the sec­ond­largest econ­omy in the world, but this can­not change the fact that we are still the largest de­vel­op­ing coun­try in the world with many chal­lenges,” said Zhang Jian­guo, direc­tor of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of For­eign Ex­perts Af­fairs. “Learn­ing from other coun­tries’ ex­pe­ri­ence can help lower the risk of re­form.”

Tak­ing ad­vice from for­eign ex­perts is one of the most ef­fi­cient ways, Zhang added. Fifty-seven for­eign ex­perts have par­tic­i­pated in the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of For­eign Ex­perts Af­fairs rec­om­men­da­tion pro­gram and 19 writ­ten pro­pos­als have been sent to the coun­try’s top lead­ers. The pro­pos­als cover var­i­ous as­pects, in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion, food se­cu­rity, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and bank­ing man­age­ment.

In 2012, they formed the For­eign Ex­perts Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and hired four ex­pats as con­sul­tants. They not only sub­mit their ideas but also rec­om­mend other for­eign ex­perts to do the same.

“I re­call be­ing very sur­prised by the in­vi­ta­tion to draft a pol­icy re­port in June 2012,” said Alis­tair Michie, deputy chair­man of the 48 Group Club, and one of the con­sul­tants. “My re­ac­tion was dis­be­lief that a for­eigner would be asked di­rectly to give pol­icy ad­vice to the Chi­nese prime min­is­ter.”

“It would be un­think­able for the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment and prime min­is­ter to es­tab­lish this kind of mech­a­nism for con­sult­ing for­eign ex­perts.”

Liu Yan­guo, deputy direc­tor of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of For­eign Ex­perts Af­fairs, said the mech­a­nism is a use­ful trial of a think tank of for­eign ex­perts.

Michie said for­eign tal­ent con­trib­uted a lot to the con­struc­tion in China, not only tech­nol­ogy but also their minds.

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