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Opinion / Opinion Line

Planned immigration office sign of China valuing overseas talents

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-22 08:10

Reports say that China is establishing an immigration office in order to attract more talents from overseas. That move comes at a time when it is most needed, says Beijing News:

Up till now, China has held a relatively conservative policy on immigration and its green card is regarded as one of the most difficult to get.

Data show that only about 850,000 foreigners now permanently reside in China, which is even lower than the 2.17 million in Japan, though the latter is widely considered unwelcoming to foreigners. Citizens of other countries account for only 0.04 percent of China's total population, which is much lower than in developed countries, where the number is often more than 10 percent.

Actually, China is quite attractive to people from other countries. According to an official report, China is the third most attractive country or region to foreigners, second only to Switzerland and Singapore.

China needs to recruit more global talents to help propel its economic transformation and innovation. Especially, as China's demographic dividend is coming to an end. That's why an immigration office is a must.

But while an immigration office is a sign of how much value China puts on talents, it must be selective in the talents it recruits. There is a lot of work to do, such as making plans on what kinds of global talents we need and setting standards for different kinds of talents.

Moreover, merely forming such an office is far from enough. The whole society needs to be more open to the world. For example, some hotels still follow the rigid rules of serving domestic citizens only, a practice that should be changed. Only through comprehensive measures can China be more open to the world.

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