China, a Rising Star, Once Again Attracts Talents
    2010-03-10 15:27:21     Xinhua      Web Editor: Xu Leiying
With its fast and steady development, China is now profiting from a brain gain, after having witnessed a brain drain for quite some time.

Many of the country's talents studying and working abroad have been returning to their homeland to settle down.

Yan Yongfeng never planned to stay abroad after graduation in the first place.

After graduating with a doctoral degree in crop science and biotechnology at Seoul University, he plans to immediately return home to apply what he has learned to boost crop production in his native Jilin Province in northeastern China.

Yan is not alone. According to data provided by the Chinese Embassy to South Korea, most of the 9,000 Chinese students pursuing master's degree in South Korea have expressed their willingness to return upon graduation.

Feng Yaoqi's return, however, is differently motivated.

After having studied and worked for many years in France, Feng made up his mind to return in 2002 because he realized it was impossible for Chinese nationals to participate in core research in his host country.

When asked how he feels about his return, Feng said although his living standards in China are not as high as in France, he feels gratified working for his homeland, where his achievements are recognized.

Having now worked for eight years in China, Feng has long been involved in such key research as the Shenzhou-6, Shenzhou-7 and Chang'e-1 space programs.

Like Feng, an increasing number of Chinese scholars are returning after time has tested them abroad.

State statistics show that more than 50,000 Chinese have joined the brain gain in 2008 alone, accounting for one sixth of the total returnees since 1978, when China opened its doors to allow people to study and work overseas.

Li Ling, a doctoral student majoring in information technology in Britain, is weighing the pros and cons before making her decision for post-graduation.

"Apart from the ever-improving software and hardware back in China, authorities at various levels have also brought forth an assortment of encouraging policies beneficial to returning talents -- things like working facilities, inter-country exchange mechanisms, special regulations concerning scientific and technological research," she said.

By the end of 2008, the Chinese government issued a special directive aimed at attracting top-notch talents by implementing such brain-gain programs as the "Thousand Talents" for the central government and the "Hundred Talents" for the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Through these beneficial conditions, coupled with ever-growing state and regional strengths, China is attracting more and more talents, Chinese and foreigners alike.

"To those who aspire to return, right now is an unparalleled opening," commented Wang Zhaozhong, chief scientist with the Chinese National Center for Nanoscience and Technology and senior researcher with the French National Nanotech Center.

Policy-makers and returned talents both recommended returnee-to-bes to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons before making their moves.

To Zhang Yang, who has returned from Britain to set up a consulting firm in China's largest city, Shanghai, anywhere is suitable as long as it helps the birth of his brain-child.

But isn't it even better to give birth to one's brain-child in one's own country of origin?

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