In total, 4.59 million Chinese have studied abroad since China initiated reform and opening-up in 1978, of these 2.65 million have returned, said a report issued by the Center for China and Globalization, a think tank headquartered in Beijing. Beijing Youth Daily comments:
President Xi Jinping said in the meeting marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Western Returned Scholars Association in Beijing in 2013 that Chinese studying overseas are valuable assets and an effective strength for boosting national rejuvenation.
This is an accurate and objective evaluation of the importance of those who are studying or have studied in foreign countries.
The returnees have made important contributions to the progress of China's technology innovation and education causes, helping to narrow the gap with developed countries. Overseas returnees play a backbone role in promoting the cause of invigorating the country through science and technology. They actively promote the reform of the system and mechanism in the field of science and education, cultivate scientific and technological innovation talents, and lead major scientific research project.
Most of the chief scientists and group leaders of the national plan for key fundamental research in science and technology and the national plan for high-tech research and development, which were issued in 1997 and 1986 respectively, are returnees. About 81 percent of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and 64 percent of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering have experience of studying abroad.
The returnees should play up their advantages and seek more opportunities to cooperate with foreign institutes.
Returnees greatly improved the pace of scientific modernization in China and effectively promoted China's modernization drive. Governments of various levels should make better use of the returnees, and maximize their contributions to the nation by leveraging their knowledge, technology and connections to the full.
That will encourage more people to return home after completing their education and research abroad.
(Source: China Daily)