Premier Li Keqiang last month delivered a report to the National People’s Congress, saying “We will work to attract high-caliber foreign professionals and bring in other expertise from overseas.” Soon afterwards, a document released by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council elaborated on this plan.
That document is entitled “Some Suggestions for Deepening and Speeding Reform of the System for Driving Innovation” 中共中央 国务院关于深化体制机制改革加快实施创新驱动发展战略的若干意见 (Mar. 13, 2015). The general thrust is that by 2020 the Party-state intends to develop a system of laws and policies to marshal domestic and foreign talent, capital, technology, and knowledge in service of innovation.
One point in the document is that the Party-state intends to implement a more competitive system for attracting foreign talent. Key aspects include:
- Enacting legislation and rules for the management of foreigners granted permanent resident status in China
- Relaxing the requirements for skilled workers to obtain permanent resident status.
- Exploring a system for skilled immigration
- Providing to permanent residents with high-level talent the same support and treatment that Chinese citizens receive in activities related to establishing science and technology enterprises
- Formulating regulations related to the employment of foreigners in China
- Streamlining the process for foreigners to apply for work permits, as well as visas and residence permits for them and their families
- Canceling age limits for high-level, innovative talent seeking work permits
- Setting up exchange programs for visiting scholars as part of an effort to make China a world center for international, high-level innovation in science and technology
That’s a big agenda. Obviously, the devil is in the details of how it is implemented.
- While using immigration policy to spur immigration is a worthwhile goal, the Party-state’s immigration agenda should be broader. See Ten Ideas for Reforming China’s Immigration System.
- China Considering Laws to Attract Overseas Talent (Global Times, Mar. 25)