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Draft regulation on permanent residence of foreigners shows open-minded policy

By Chinadaily | 2020-03-06

Since the launch of reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, China has not only sent young talents to study abroad but also introduced foreign experts and strived to connect the international and domestic talent markets, establishing a set of mechanisms for gathering talent and providing important intellectual support for China's economic and technological development.
Today, the development of various undertakings in China has entered a new era, and the global talent structure has entered an unprecedented period of adjustment and transformation. Such changes have not been seen in a century, and the flow of talent across the globe is intensifying.
The changes in the global talent structure, however, have some implications. First, they could lead to a new round of scientific and technological revolutions and industrial changes. New talents, especially experts in big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and blockchain, have become the new focus of the global talent competition.
Second, more and more economies, including emerging and developing economies, are increasingly transforming their economic driving forces and adopting international policies to recruit foreign talents.
Third, since 2017, the United States, Germany, Britain, France, Belgium and other Western countries and Japan have introduced a series of policies to attract special foreign talents, especially high-tech talents, and students.
Fourth, the international talent market is undergoing structural changes. International professional social platforms in the West are now among the leading global headhunters and gradually becoming open platforms for transnational talent hunting, while the issue of the rights of international talents has become prominent.
And fifth, China's passive position in the flow of international talents is being gradually reversed. Not only have the numbers of students who have studied abroad returning to China and foreign talents coming to China increased, but also China is now second only to the US as a global destination for overseas study.
Standing at a new historical starting point, China has timely responded to the changes in the global talent market. In the report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017,General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the strategic plan of "assembling the best minds across the land and drawing fully on their expertise, and stepping up efforts to make China a talent-strong country".
Subsequently, according to the overall goal of modernizing the governance system and capacity, China introduced a top-level design at the national level. Among them, the permanent residence system for foreigners is very important, as it strengthens China's international talent strategy and will help realize its "second opening-up".
The draft regulation on the administration of foreigners' permanent residence released on Feb 27 emphasizes the need to strictly examine the right of permanent residence of foreigners, and calls for the protection of their legitimate rights and interests to ensure the administrative work is based on law.
Using the experience and achievements of the previous foreigners' administration system, the new regulation will strengthen the laws and regulations on the management of foreigners' permanent residence system and protect the rights and responsibilities of foreign residents in China.
The draft, as China's first systematic immigration management regulation in the new era, has three features. It emphasizes the balance between the rights and obligations of foreigners with permanent residence permits in China, and using the experience of Western countries helps integrate foreigners in Chinese society.
Besides, with its focus on the overall goal of modernizing the governance system and capacity, the draft calls for establishing a coordination mechanism and information-sharing mechanism for the foreigners' permanent residence administration department, in order to free the department of additional responsibilities.
Since countries around the world seem to stand on the same starting line in this new round of technological and industrial revolution, they are eager to use their science and technology talents as a tool, intensifying the global competition for human resources. And by accelerating the modernizing of its governance system and capacity, China has provided a Chinese-style solution to the global talent governance problem.
The author is a researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and chief expert in national social science foundation's project, "Research on the construction of international talent governance system in China in the new era". The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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