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All aboard! China calls on overseas returnees to seize opportunities amid nations opening up efforts

By Jiang Jie (People's Daily Online)    14:57, May 30, 2018

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Chinese overseas returnees, who have made great contribution to the nation’s groundbreaking reform and opening up, are welcoming a new era when innovation and entrepreneurship are further encouraged.

Addressing a Tuesday conference on overseas returnees and reform and opening up, Wan Gang, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said overseas returnees, including himself, are essential to pioneer China’s reform and opening up with their entrepreneurship and innovation skills, which provide momentum to China’s economic development.

China’s reform and opening up, entering its 40th anniversary this year since 1978, is hailed as a miracle in human history, according to Justin Lin Yifu, director of Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University.

Back in 1978, China was one of the world’s most destitute countries in the world, with 84% of its population living with less than $1.25 every day. As of 2017, the nation has lifted 800 million people out of poverty, maintaining an average trade growth rate of 14.8%, a remarkable achievement for a country with such a low economic basis, Lin noted.

The Peking University professor predicted that China’s economic growth would become the world’s most important economic phenomenon by 2030, providing a historic opportunity for all intellectuals including returnees to tap into.

Specifically, China is in demand of more innovative and creative minds amid the fourth Industrial Revolution, said Chen Shiyi, an academician with Chinese Academy of Sciences. “Compared with our predecessors who have laid the foundation for China’s development, including the development of national defense, returnees today shoulder more responsibility to boost China’s core technology research and development,” said Chen.

Xiong Xiaoge, IDG Capital Global Chairman, also pointed out that the nation is ready to offer more surprise opportunities for overseas returnees in the technological sphere, including 5G communication and AI.

China has witnessed a rising number of people returning to the mainland for development since 2015, the year in which the number of returnees exceeded those leaving China. As of 2017, a total of 3.13 million of returnees had traveled back to the Chinese mainland, up from 2.65 million by 2016.

Wan noted that overseas returnees can also help bridge the gap between the outside world and China in the nation’s further opening up.

Zhu Min, head of National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University, agreed that the returnees, with cross-cultural experiences, can serve to help the world better understand China, whose economic scale and rapid growth sometimes appear overwhelming.

“Thanks to the returnees, there are now more Chinese who can understand the world than those from other countries who can empathize with China,” Zhu noted, adding that China’s development has created a new platform for people, like himself, coming back home with overseas experience.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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