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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion
Foreign experts deserve better service
    2017-December-11  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Winton Dong

dht0620@126.com

CHINA will not close its door to the world, and will only become more open, transparent and regulated, President Xi Jinping pledged in a congratulatory message sent to the Fortune Global Forum held in Guangzhou between Dec. 6 and 8.

During the process of China’s reform and opening to the outside world in the past decades, foreigners with expertise in their fields have contributed immensely to national development and have served as ambassadors of friendship between China and the world.

Looking back through Chinese history, many famous people from other countries such as Marco Polo from Italy, doctor Norman Bethune from Canada, doctor Dwarkanath Kotnis from India and journalist Edgar Snow from the United States, just naming a few of them, have been deeply impressed in the minds of Chinese people.

As the world’s biggest developing country and one of the fastest-growing economies, China is a fertile land with a promising future and more possibilities. The country is now showing its charm in a new era, providing more chances and opportunities to the world, and will turn out to be an attractive dreamland for younger generations and competent professionals worldwide.

According to Zhang Jianguo, head of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), to lure more top overseas experts, the administration has made joint efforts with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security as well as the Ministry of Public Security to streamline the visa application time from several weeks to five days. Other preferential policies, such as lowering the threshold for permanent residency, have also been introduced.

“Applications for work permits for foreign experts whose skills are in urgent demand (R visas) as well as top experts in all fields will be simplified next year,” Zhang said.

Meanwhile, modern technologies have been introduced to facilitate procedures. For top talent, applications for work permits can now be done totally online or by a smartphone app without any paperwork. The time it takes to finish the procedure has been reduced to five working days. In some pilot cities such as Shanghai, work permits are also offered to overseas students, encouraging those young people with wonderful performance at school to carry out an internship and stay in China after their graduation.

Major concerns that foreigners working in China have are about obtaining a visa for their spouse and quality education for their children. Supporting polices will also cover foreign experts’ spouses and children, giving them a quick pass to get their visas.

In a modern world, global talent from various disciplines is a core competitive force for any country that wants to excel and keep its cutting edge. The contributions made by expats to China’s development cannot go unnoticed. Despite the fact that China has made substantial progress in luring foreign talent in recent years, the country still lags behind some developed Western nations in attracting more qualified personnel from overseas.

Chinese visa policies may be the strictest in the world. Many foreign experts are still complaining about the problem. They want to be able to secure five-year or even 10-year multiple-entry permits, something they say will make their stay in China easier. In contrast, some other countries have adopted a more flexible visa policy for Chinese citizens. For example, qualified Chinese businesspeople and even students can apply for a 10-year visa to the United States.

In a new era, we should try to realize a Chinese dream that talent from all over the world could come to China for better development. With such a principle as a guideline, President Xi urged the country to implement a more open policy for talented workers, bring in talent no matter where they come from, and trust them fully. “We should value talent, be good at identifying talent, have the foresight to employ them, be earnest about keeping them, and welcome them into our ranks,” he said in his report to the 19th CPC National Congress in October this year.

Xi’s remarks on foreign experts have shown the direction of China’s talent policy. To further implement the top leader’s instruction, a more proactive, open and effective policy on expat talents must be pursued in China during the coming years.

(The author is the editor-in-chief of the Shenzhen Daily with a Ph.D. from the Journalism and Communication School of Wuhan University.)

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