CIA recruits Chinese on Spring Festival

15:51, February 20, 2010      

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In an attempt to absorb talented Chinese Americans, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) posted recruitment advertisements with a majestic tiger figure and "Happy New Year" in Chinese characters in Southern California's Chinese language media during Spring Festival.

CIA's spokesperson Pula Weiss said the agency wishes to increase its number of ethnic minority employees by 22 to 30 percent in 2012. Recruited employees will receive training in languages and decoding skills, also learning different countries' politics, economy and cultures.

The CIA's lack of foreign language speakers has fueled criticisms from congressional committees and commissions since the 9/11 attacks of 2001. However, in the past five years, the overall number of CIA workers with foreign language skills has risen 70 percent amid broader recruiting efforts that have included Internet ads on YouTube and Facebook.

Still, bilingual employees account for 18 percent within the agency's Directorate of Intelligence, which handles all analysis of information gathered by the agency. Within the National Clandestine Service, which runs foreign spy operations, 28 percent of employees speak a foreign language.

The CIA offers hiring bonuses of up to 35,000 U.S. dollars to recruits with "mission critical" languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Korean, Pashtu, Persian, Russian and Urdu.

Apart from investigators, the CIA is also recruiting scientists, statistics analysts, psychologists, language teachers and administration officers and managers, with annual wages ranging from 35,000 U.S. dollars to 120,000 U.S. dollars.

By People's Daily Online/Agencies
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