On December 18, 2019, to honor outstanding returnees and encourage students overseas to work and start businesses in China, the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and China Global Talent Society (CGTS) released the list of 70 Influential Returnees in 70 Years of the People’s Republic of China at the 2019 Convention on Exchange of Overseas Talents and 21st Guangzhou Convention of Overseas Chinese Scholars in Science and Technology. It is the fifth year that CCG and CGTS have released this authoritative list at the conference.
China has developed a unique form of international talent circulation since 1978. In the new era, returnees have gradually become a vital force to promote China’s globalization and have made significant contributions to build bridges between China and the world.
On the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, a CCG research group selected 70 outstanding representatives from 300 individuals who have made significant contributions to the country's development since 1949. The research used various methods including surveys, questionnaires, forums, seminars, and news monitoring.
Seventy returnees were recognized for outstanding career achievements and promoting China’s globalization. They have been a vital force in China’s rise, helped to build up China’s science and education, served as messengers of east-west cultural exchange, leaders of China's innovation and entrepreneurialism, and heads of international organizations.
The noticeable trend of the return of high-level talents
Data from the Ministry of Education show that during the 1950s and 1960s, nearly 18,000 Chinese students went to socialist countries for study, 90% of them to the Soviet Union. The number of China’s overseas students has risen rapidly since 1978. From 1978 to 2018, the total number of Chinese students studying abroad reached 5.86 million. Study destinations span all developed countries in Europe and North America, as well as countries along the Belt and Road.
At the same time, there is a noticeable trend of high-level talent returning to China. The number of students overseas returning to China has steadily increased. 36.5 million people chose to return to China after they completed their studies, accounting for 84.46% of the completed study group.
About the Conference
The Convention on Exchange of Overseas Talents strives to build a communication platform for domestic enterprises and overseas high-level talents through exhibitions, forums, and other activities. The 2019 conference was co-organized by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Western Returned Scholars Association (Overseas-educated Scholars Association of China), and Guangzhou Municipal Government. The theme of the 2019 Convention was “wisdom, innovation and win-win." Nearly 30,000 individuals participated in this conference.
List of “70 Representatives in 70 Years”:
Ba Jin, renowned Chinese author, former vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and former chairman of the Chinese Writers Association.
Bai Chunli, president of Chinese Academy of Science.
Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, former director-general of the World Health Organization, member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese people's Political Consultative Conference, and chief adviser of the State Council's Leading Group on Deepening Medical System Reform.
Chen Jining, deputy secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee, mayor of Beijing Municipality, and former minister of Chinese Environmental Protection Ministry.
Chen Kaige, renowned Chinese film director.
Chen Shiyi, president of Southern University of Science and Technology of China.
Chen Zhu, president of the Red Cross Society of China, and president of the Western Returned Scholars Association.
Cheng Kaijia, former consultant to the science and technology committee of the general equipment department of Chinese People's Liberation Army.
Cui Tiankai, the 10th ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States.
Deng Jiaxian, Chinese nuclear physicist, deputy director of the Science and Technique Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Nuclear Industry, and deputy director of the Science and Technique Advisory Committee in State Commission of Science ,Technology and Industry for National Defense.
Tung Chee-hwa, the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong, and vice-chairman of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Du Zhanyuan, the president of China International Publishing Group.
Fu Chengyu, former chairman and party secretary of Sinopec.
Gong Ke，president of World Federation of Engineering Organizations.
Gu Fangzhou, Chinese virologist, and former president of Peking Union Medical College of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
Han Qide, honorary president of the China Association for Science and Technology, former vice-chairman of Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and former president of Western Returned Scholars Association.
Hou Yunde, researcher of the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention (NIVDCP) with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hu Shuli, founder and publisher of Caixin Media.
Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Lang Lang, world-renowned concert pianist and United Nations messenger of peace.
Lang Ping, world-renowned volleyball player and head coach of China's women's national volleyball team.
Li Daokui, director of Institute for China’s Economic Practice and Thinking of Tsinghua University, and chief economist of New Development Bank.
Li Yanhong, founder, board chairman and CEO of Baidu.
Liang Jianzhang, co-founder and executive chairman of the board of Ctrip, and research professor of Applied Economics at the Guanghua School of Management of Peking University.
Liu He, vice premier, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, general office director of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs.
Li Yifu, senior vice-president and chief economist of World Bank, and professor and honorary dean of National School of Development at Peking University.
Liu Yongtan, radar technology and signal processing expert, and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Liu Fang, secretary of International Civil Aviation Organization.
Liu Qing, president of Didi Chuxing, and former managing director at Goldman Sachs (Asia).
Long Yongtu, former vice-minister with China’s foreign trade ministry, and former secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia.
Lu Mai, vice chairman of China Development Research Foundation, and secretary-general of China Development Forum.
Min Enze, renowned Chinese expert in petrochemical catalysis, and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Pan Jianwei, executive vice president of University of Science and Technology of China, vice president of China Association for Science and Technology, academician of the Chinese Academy of Science, director of Center for Quantum Information and Quantum Technology Frontier Collaborative Innovation of Chinese Academy of Science.
Qian Qihu, defense engineering expert, military engineering expert, and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Qian Xuesen, world-renowned aerodynamicist, father of China's Space Program, and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Qian Yingyi, chairman of school board at Xihu University, and former dean of School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University.
Qu Dongyu, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Shen Nanpeng, managing partner of Sequoia Capital, and founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China.
Shi Yigong, the first president of Westlake University, and former deputy president of Tsinghua University.
Shi Jiuyong, former president of International Court of Justice at the United Nations, and former legal adviser to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Sun Jiadong, senior technical adviser of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, and former vice minister of the Ministry of Aerospace Industry.
Wan Gang, president of China Association for Science and Technology, and former minister of Ministry of Science and Technology.
Wang Huiyao, founder and president of Center for China and Globalization (CCG), counsellor of China State Council, and vice-chairman of China Western Returned Scholars Association.
Wang Junfeng, president of the All China Lawyers Association, the president of Lawyers and Laws Research Institute of China Law Society, and the principal founding partner of King & Wood Mallesons (China).
Wang Shi, founder and honorary chairman of China Vanke Co., Ltd, and president of World Wildlife Fund China.
Wang Xing, co-founder and CEO of Meituan Dianping.
Wu Jinglian, senior research fellow of Development Research Centre of the State Council and former deputy director of the Economic System Reform office of the State Council.
Wu Liangyong, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Wu Wenjun, renowned mathematician, and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries.
Xie Jialin, former vice director of Institute of High Energy Physics Chinese Academy of Science.
Xiong Xiaoge, chairman and founding partner of IDG Capital.
Xu Guangxian, renowned chemist, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and former chairman of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies.
Xu Xiaoping, co-founder of ZhenFund.
Xue Lan, dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University, former dean of the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University.
Xue Qikun, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, vice dean of Tsinghua University, and dean of Beijing Academy of Quantum Information Sciences.
Yang Lan, chair of Sun Media Investment Holdings and the Sun Culture Foundation.
Yang Zhenning, world-renowned physicist, Nobel prize winner in physics, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Yao Qizhi, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and foreign member of United States National Academy of Sciences.
Ye Duzheng, distinguished climate scientist, and academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Ye Peijian, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and chief scientist of deep space exploration at the China Academy of Space Technology.
Yi Gang, governor of People’s Bank of China (PBC) and deputy secretary of CPC PBC Committee.
Zhang Chaoyang, board chairman and CEO of Sohu.com.
Zhang Lei, founder and CEO of Hillhouse Capital Management Group, trustee of the Yale-NUS College and the Chair of the Yale Asia Development Council.
Zhang Yichen, founder, chairman and CEO of CITIC Capital Holdings Limited.
Zhang Yuejiao, former Chair of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body, expert at the First Seminar of the International Commercial Expert Committee.
Zhao Houlin, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Zheng Zhemin, world-renowned explosions expert, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and foreign member of U.S National Academy of Engineering.
Zhong Nanshan, renowned respiratory disease specialist, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and former president of Chinese Medical Association.
Zhu Guangya, nuclear physicist, and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering
Zhu Min, chairman of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University.
At the beginning of May, the Center for China and Globalization expert delegation, whilst in the US conducting “track II diplomacy” activities, visited several think tanks and research institutions to promote greater bilateral understanding.