China considers dual nationality
CHINA is studying the feasibility of dual nationality for overseas Chinese, and will improve the mechanism of the country’s “green card” equivalent in a bid to attract more high-level professionals back home, a senior official said yesterday.
“It is a politically sensitive issue, but I can say related ministries are considering the feasibility of dual nationality,” Wang Xiaochu, deputy minister of human resources and social security, said at the CHINAOCS International Talents Fair in Dalian in northeastern Liaoning Province.
Wang was asked how to make it easier for overseas Chinese who have obtained other nationalities to seek career opportunities in China.
It was also revealed yesterday that China may lower the threshold requirement for permanent residence, the equivalent of the United States green card, to make it more convenient for overseas Chinese to live and work in the country of their birth.
“China is in urgent need of senior professionals to contribute to the country’s economic and social development and reform,” said Wang Zhigang, a deputy science and technology minister.
Visa issues, social security coverage, education, seed money and policy ambiguities were among the major challenges facing overseas Chinese wanting to return and start a business, according to people taking part in the fair yesterday.
In 2008, the central government launched the “Thousand People Plan” to attract highlevel personnel back to China.
The plan promised important positions and government funding for professionals in areas such as science, finance, art and business management. There were also various preferential policies at provincial and city level.
So far, more than 1,100 people have benefited from the program.
But for lower-level personnel with foreign experience, doing their homework before considering a business back home was important, said Wang Huiyao, chairman of the Western Returned Scholars Association Chamber of Commerce, an organization for Chinese returnees.
“China now offers more support policies for the newly returned, but you have to notice market competition in China is much more fierce than not long ago, and business culture is quite different here,” Wang said, adding that ownership of technology was the key to success for many overseas Chinese.
An increasing number of overseas Chinese are choosing to return after experience abroad. According to the human resources and social security ministry, about 630,000 overseas Chinese have returned among the 1.9 million who went abroad in the past three decades.