Seek­ing Dreams in China

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Education & Culture - By wen wen

Ac­cord­ing to the Re­port on China In­ter­na­tional Mi­gra­tion (2018)(here­after c a l l e d t he mi g r a t ion re­port), China has be­come a source of out­bound im­mi­gra­tion to des­ti­na­tions of in­ter­na­tional im­mi­gra­tion with im­proved gov­er­nance mech­a­nisms. The num­ber of in­bound for­eign im­mi­grants is con­tin­u­ously grow­ing. China ranks third in terms of the best place to live for for­eign im­mi­grants, only af­ter Switzer­land and Sin­ga­pore. China even sur­passed the U. S. and Ja­pan in that rank­ing.

Wang Huiyao, main ed­i­tor of the re­port and direc­tor of the Cen­ter for China and Glob­al­iza­tion (CCG), said that since China started to im­ple­ment the open­ing-up pol­icy in 1978, the Chi­nese so­cial and eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment has steadily been im­prov­ing. The im­ple­men­ta­tion of the strat­egy to rein­vig­o­rat­ing China through hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment, and a se­ries of plans and poli­cies of in­tro­duc­ing for­eign ta­lent, have stim­u­lated a re­verse brain drain of un­prece­dented scale in re­cent years. The cru­cial point that fa­cil­i­tates such largescale re­verse brain drain is the in­no­va­tion of China's im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies.

China is at­tract­ing more in­ter­na­tional ta­lent back

Ac­cord­ing to the HSBC Ex­pat Ex­plorer Re­port 2017, China ranks sec­ond in the world in terms of be­ing the best place for ca­reer de­vel­op­ment. For­eign ta­lent mi­grat­ing to China enjoy ad­van­tages in ca­reer de­vel­op­ment as well as in­come.

Asia is an ideal mi­gra­tion des­ti­na­tion for for­eign­ers. The num­ber of for­eign­ers liv­ing in this re­gion with an an­nual in­come of more than USD 250,000 is triple that of Europe. China is the best Asian coun­try for for­eign peo­ple, and the num­ber of for­eign­ers with an an­nual in­come sur­pass­ing USD 250,000 is quadru­ple the world av­er­age. About 70% of 27,500 for­eign in­ter­vie­wees said that China pro­vides won­der­ful work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

As Europe is fac­ing a refugee cri­sis and the U.S. Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is tight­en­ing visa and im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies, a large num­ber of in­ter­na­tional ta­lent is flock­ing to emerg­ing coun­tries like China, mak­ing China an im­por­tant coun­try for in­bound im­mi­grants. In terms of em­ploy­ment prospects, China is deemed the per­fect place for de­vel­op­ing ca­reers com­pared to other coun­tries in East Asia and around the world.

The new book from the Na­tional Im­mi­gra­tion Bureau shows that eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment has fa­cil­i­tated in­ter­na­tional im­mi­gra­tion in the 21st cen­tury, and had a deep im­pact. For ex­am­ple, the type of im­mi­grants have be­come more di­ver­si­fied, and the gov­ern­ment has en­cour­aged the in­tro­duc­tion of high-end ta­lent and lim­ited the num­ber of il­le­gal im­mi­grants. Tem­po­rary im­mi­grants, two-way im­mi­grants and cir­cu­la­tory im­mi­grants have grown in num­bers.

Mean­while, the num­ber of re­turn­ing im­mi­grants and cir­cu­lar im­mi­grants is in­creas­ing. For de­vel­op­ing and emerg­ing coun­tries, re­turn im­mi­gra­tion and cir­cu­lar im­mi­gra­tion will not only bring back cap­i­tal in­come, but also busi­ness and tech­nol­ogy re­sources. For de­vel­oped coun­tries, these immi- grants will help com­pa­nies to de­velop their in­ter­na­tional mar­kets and up­grade in­dus­try and tech­nol­ogy. Chi­nese eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and poli­cies to sup­port im­mi­gra­tion have at­tracted for­eign im­mi­grants back. By Au­gust 2017, China has at­tracted 7,018 ex­perts who fall un­der the “Thou­sand Peo­ple Plan”. Also, the num­ber of re­turned over­seas stu­dents has reached a new high, from 9,121 in 2000 to 432,500 in 2016, up by al­most 47 times.

The book also pointed out that as the Chi­nese econ­omy de­vel­ops and its in­dus­try up­grades, China needs more and more high-end ta­lent from all over the world. It will con­tinue to at­tract in­ter­na­tional im­mi­grant in or­der to achieve this.

The hu­man re­source mech­a­nism needs im­prov­ing to raise com­pet­i­tive­ness

The im­mi­gra­tion re­port shows that from 2008 to 2017, the Chi­nese “Thou­sand Peo­ple Plan” has at­tracted more than 7,000 ex­perts. Un­der this pro­gram, China has at­tracted 53,900 peo­ple who fall in the cat­e­gory of high­end ta­lent or over­seas stu­dents. China's fist-tier cities have at­tracted pro­fes­sional ta­lent in var­i­ous sec­tors.

Mean­while, data shows that about 850,000 for­eign cit­i­zens are liv­ing in China. Ac­cord­ing to UN sta­tis­tics, the in­ter­na­tional im­mi­grants liv­ing in China only ac­count for 0.04% of the world, while in de­vel­oped coun­tries the per­cent­age is about 10%. The re­port is­sued by the In­ter­na­tional Im­mi­gra­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion shows that al­though the num­ber of for­eign peo­ple is grow­ing fast in Bei­jing and Shang­hai, it still lags

be­hind that of many in­ter­na­tional cities aroundthe world.

The pro­ce­dures for liv­ing, work­ing and in­vest­ing when re­lated to for­eign cit­i­zens are very com­plex in China, and cer­tifi­cates all re­quire ap­proval by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, the Pub­lic Safety Bureau, the For­eign Ex­pert Bureau, the Of­fice of For­eign Af­fairs, the Hu­man Re­sources Bureau and the La­bor Bureau. This is also an im­por­tant rea­son for the dif­fi­culty of ob­tain­ing house­hold reg­is­tra­tion. Now, all coun­tries are is­su­ing poli­cies to at­tract in­ter­na­tional ta­lent and the re­port sug­gests that China shall also im­prove its HR pol­icy mech­a­nism to raise com­pet­i­tive­ness in this sphere.

At the mo­ment, U.S. im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy is clos­ing the­door to in­ter­na­tional ta­lent. This ta­lent could be an im­por­tant trea­sure for China to boost its in­no­va­tion, sup­port the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, and cope with is­sues caused by China's ag­ing so­ci­ety.

The world's ta­lent fo­cuses on not only a com­pet­i­tive in­come, but also on the de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment. In re­cent years, China has been pro­mot­ing a se­ries of im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies to play an im­por­tant role in at­tract­ing in­no­va­tion ta­lent from abroad. China's green card has be­come a fa­vorite for for­eign peo­ple liv­ing in China.

In Jan­uary 2018, Shang­hai pro­moted the “Ta­lent Col­lec­tion Pro­gram”, of­fer­ing con­ve­nience to for­eign ta­lent in the as­pects of per­ma­nent res­i­dence, long-term res­i­dence, visa of im­mi­gra­tion and the port visa. The pro­gram con­tains seven pol­icy mea­sures that fo­cus on the ap­pli­ca­tion for a per­ma­nent res­i­dence ID card. On April 2, six for­eign ta­lents, in­clud­ing Swiss Noble prizewin­ner Kurt Her­mann Wüthrich, re­ceived a green card for per­ma­nent liv­ing in China.

In March 2018, the Bei­jing gov­ern­ment is­sued 20 new re­form mea­sures in the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of in­ter­na­tional ta­lent im­mi­gra­tion, in­tro­duc­tion for for­eign ta­lent, sup­port of in­ter­na­tional HR de­vel­op­ment and im­prove­ment of HR ser­vices for in­ter­na­tional ta­lents Many of these pol­icy mea­sures are the first of its kind in China. The new pol­icy is­sues mul­ti­ple visas to for­eign ta­lent and al­lows for­eign sci­en­tists with per­ma­nent res­i­dence to lead or be in­volve into na­tional tech­nol­ogy projects. It also gave the spouse and chil­dren of in­ter­na­tional high-end ta­lent a green light to ap­ply for per­ma­nent res­i­dency in China.

Xie Jiang­bing, Chi­nese “Thou­sand Ta­lent Plan” ex­pert and starter of high­tech firm Eye­bright, is one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of these 20 new poli­cies. He ap­plied for per­ma­nent res­i­dence through the pro­gram for his own fam­ily.

Faced with new times and a new sit­u­a­tion, China is open­ing its door wider to in­volve the con­struc­tion and im­prove­ment of its in­ter­na­tional im­mi­gra­tion man­age­ment sys­tem. In June 2016, China of­fi­cially gained mem­ber­ship of the In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion (IOM), to be in­volved in in­ter­na­tional mi­gra­tion gov­er­nance and pro­mote in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion in mi­gra­tion. On March 17 of 2018, the Na­tional Congress ap­proved the re­form plan for the State Coun­cil in­sti­tu­tion, to en­hance man­age­ment and co­or­di­na­tion of im­mi­gra­tion af­fairs, con­sol­i­date man­age­ment re­sources, in­te­grate the func­tions of the Min­istry of Pub­lic Safety in im­mi­gra­tion man­age­ment and bor­der in­spec­tion, im­prove visa poli­cies and es­tab­lish the State Im­mi­gra­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Shen Yibo, depart­ment direc­tor of the State Im­mi­gra­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said at the aca­demic sym­po­sium on ta­lent flow, im­mi­gra­tion and im­mi­gra­tion law that the pur­pose of es­tab­lish­ing the State Im­mi­gra­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion is to learn the best man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ences of the world, bet­ter at­tract global high­end ta­lent, in­crease Chi­nese soft power, en­hance China's in­no­va­tion ca­pac­ity, solve the is­sues of “il­le­gal en­try, il­le­gal res­i­dence and il­le­gal em­ploy­ment” and en­sure the liv­ing, se­cu­rity and prop­erty rights of in­ter­na­tional im­mi­grants. The State Im­mi­gra­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion's foun­da­tion re­flects China's needs to be in­volved in global ta­lent competition and tran­si­tion to­wards ta­lent div­i­dend, and sig­nals China's com­mit­ment to open­ing up its bor­ders for bet­ter world de­vel­op­ment.

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