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Report on Overseas Chinese Professionals (2014)

Monday,Aug 18, 2014

By Wang Huiyao, Mabel Miao

 

 

The 2014 Report on Overseas Chinese Professionals analyzes the characteristics and trends of a new generation of overseas Chinese, specifically those who went abroad from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan after 1978 and who are now estimated to number approximately 10 million. In developing their career overseas, most of these people have established themselves as professionals or will become professionals. Compared with the old generation of overseas Chinese, they not only possess better educational backgrounds and professional abilities, but also enjoy enhanced financial and social status. Together, they constitute an immense talent pool for China’s development. Attracting them to return to China or tapping these resources can help boost innovation and achieve breakthroughs for Chinain the scientific and technological arenas. It can also contribute to the building of new academic disciplines, the cultivation of fresh talent, and the development of hi-tech industries in China. The 2014 Report offers suggestions on to how to better mobilize the resources of this new generation.

The General Report first defines the concept of "overseas Chinese professionals" based on a study of this group’s population size, geographical distribution and current characteristics. It then analyzes three new features and eight new trends in the development of this crucial demographic group.

The Feature Report offers in-depth analyses on the intellectual resources of overseas Chinese professionalsand provides an evaluation of their potential contribution to China. In addition, it studies the emergence, geographical distribution, current situation, characteristics, challenges and trends of overseas Chinese professional associations. Finally, the Feature Report assesses overseas Chinese professionals’ contribution to China, as well as their role in promoting the flow of overseas Chinese professionals around the world.

The Policy Report details how other countries have formulated and revised their overseas compatriot policies in order to attract overseas talent or to build up mutually beneficial relationships through talent attraction and immigration policies as well as nationality systems. Drawing lessons from these countries, China could develop methods to lower its barriers for overseas Chinese professionals to return home, enabling the country to fully utilize their resources.

The Appendix includes a survey and analysis on overseas Chinese professionals in 2012-2013, as well as a list of the overseas Chinese professionals associations in America, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

Abstract

The new generation of overseas Chinese, which comprises people who went abroad from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan after 1978, is estimated to number approximately 10 million. In developing their career overseas, most of these people have established themselves as professionals or will become professionals.  Compared with the old generation of overseas Chinese, they not only possess better educational background and professional abilities, but also enjoy enhanced financial and social status. Together, they constitute an immense talent pool for China’s development. Attracting them to return to China or utilizing this resource even while these individuals remain abroad could help boost innovation in China’s scientific and technological arena. They can also contribute to the building of new academic disciplines, the cultivation of talent, and the development of hi-tech industries in China. With an overview of overseas Chinese professionals, the report analyzes the new features and trends of this group of people, offering suggestions as to how to better mobilize their resources.

The General Report first defines the concept of "overseas Chinese professionals." Based on a study of this group from the perspectives of population size, geographical distribution and current characteristics, the Report then analyzes three new features and eight new trends of its future development.

The Feature Report offers in-depth analyses on overseas Chinese professionals’ intellectual resources, providing an evaluation of their potential contribution to China. In addition, the Report studies the emergence, geographical distribution, current situation, characteristics, challenges, and trends of overseas Chinese professionals associations.  Finally, the Report assesses their contribution to China, as well as their role in promoting the flow of overseas Chinese professionals.

The Policy Report details how, in order to attract overseas talents or to build up mutually beneficial relationships with them, countries have formulated and revised their overseas compatriot policies, talent attraction policies, immigration policies and nationality system. Drawing lessons from these countries, China could lower its barriers for overseas Chinese professionals to return and fully utilize their resources.

As a reference, the Appendix includes a survey and analysis on overseas Chinese professionals in 2012-2013, as well as a collection of overseas Chinese professionals associations in America, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

Contents

B.1  Features and Trends of Overseas Chinese Professionals

Henry Wang

The Emergence and Development of Overseas Chinese Professionals

Global Distribution and Current Status of Overseas Chinese Professionals

New Characteristics of Overseas Chinese Professionals

Trends of Overseas Chinese Professionals

Abstract: Currently, there are approximately four million overseas Chinese professionals in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore and other developed countries. Overall, the distribution of overseas Chinese professionals is characterized by a concentration in certain regions and dispersion worldwide, with most of them working in high-tech, education and finance. In general, these professionals are well-educated, skilled, financially secure and cultured. The number of overseas Chinese professionals is set to grow steadily. With their knowledge level and professional skills continually improving, these people will constitute a key group of the elite overseas Chinese.

Keywords: Overseas Chinese Professionals; Overseas Chinese; New Feature; New Trend

    B.2 The Role and Contribution of Overseas Chinese Professionals

Abstract: The new generation of overseas Chinese has the ability to work across the East and the West, playing a unique role in improving China’s soft and hard power. Economically, they exert a direct impact on China’s economic development by engaging in global trade, financial investment and business operations. Politically, they improve Sino-foreign relations through people-to-people diplomacy. They can also protect China’s interest through lobbying efforts, influencing the news media and self-sponsored activities. Culturally, through Chinese teaching, along with Chinese music and dance performances, and entertainment, they help deepen local people’s understanding of China, thereby influencing the local culture of their host country.

Keywords: New Overseas Chinese; Oriental and Occidental Countries; Overseas Chinese Professionals; Soft and Hard Power

    B.3  New Features, Challenges and Trends of Overseas Chinese Professional Associations

Abstract: In the past, overseas Chinese were usually portrayed as the wielders of three kinds of knives, as they typically worked overseas as cooks, tailors, and barbers. This stereotype has now faded and the new career image of these individuals is working as engineers, doctors, and accounts as well as filling the roles of "scientist, entrepreneur, inventor."  Most of them now pursue technical or managerial jobs, building or participating in various professional associations. In this report, CCG reviews the historical evolution of overseas Chinese professional associations, analyzing their distribution and current status, the challenges facing them, and direction of their future development.

Keywords: Overseas Chinese Professional Association; New Feature; New Challenge; New Trend

    B.4  Contributions of Overseas Chinese Professional Associations to China’s Development

Abstract: The resources that overseas Chinese possess are truly remarkable and rare. Compared with traditional Chinese civil organizations, overseas Chinese professional associations display the following new functions:  linkage between China and overseas Chinese community, bridge between China and foreign countries, platform for China’s absorption of foreign investment, "talent pool," and "networking club" for Chinese government talents-recruitment programs. They therefore play a vital role in helping to restructure and upgrade the economy of China. They can also help more Chinese companies go abroad and accelerate the process of China’s globalization.

Keywords: Overseas Chinese Professional Associations; Overseas Talent; China Development

    B.5  Analysis on Civil Organizations’ Role in Promoting the Flow of Overseas Chinese Professionals: A Case study on Sino-Canadian Civil Organizations

Abstract: The history of Chinese immigration to Canada can be traced back to 1788.  After China and Canada established diplomatic relations in 1970, the number of Chinese migrating to Canada grew steadily. Within the past 20 years, Chinese professional associations have mushroomed in Canada. With most of their members consisting of high-end technical and managerial talent, these groups are helping to forge closer ties between China and Canada, expanding the overseas market for Chinese goods, facilitating communication and cooperation in economic, technological and cultural fields for the two nations, and providing talent and intellectual resources for China. Focusing on the role that Sino-Canadian civil organizations play in talent flows and their working mechanism, this report provides a comprehensive analysis of the role played by such civil society organizations in Sino-Canadian talent flows.

Keywords: China-Canada Civil Organizations; Civil Organization; Case Study

    B.6  International References for Policy-making on Overseas Chinese Professionals

Abstract: According to a report by the World Bank in 2012, the number of international migrants worldwide reached 232 million, accounting for 3% of the entire world population. Emigrants are deemed as being a valuable asset by many countries, which have implemented flexible policies to serve them. Meanwhile, more governments have embraced new thinking on their overseas professionals and sought to establish multi-faceted beneficial relationships with these individuals. Many countries are now paying attention to the constructive roles played by their overseas fellow countrymen and are initiating preferential programs targeted at this group. Some of these programs are aimed specially at high-end talent, most of whom are professionals in their fields. The overseas talent pool can not only provide human resources and financial investment to their home countries, but also contributes to cross-border cultural and technological exchange.

Keywords: Emigration Policy; Overseas professionals; International Reference

    B.7  Suggestions on Policy Adjustments to Attract Overseas Chinese Professionals

Abstract: From the 17th century to the first half of the 20th century, Southeast Asian countries were the main destinations for Chinese migrating abroad. Gradually the North America, West Europe and Australia became the destinations of choice for Chinese emigrants, especially after China initiated its reform and opening up policy. Equipped with better educational backgrounds and improved economic status, a new generation of overseas Chinese professionals has recently emerged. China’s development calls for the return of overseas professionals with knowledge and skills. However, China’s current policies impose barriers for the return flow of this group of people. This report examines this problem and offers suggestions on how to adjust and improve the relevant policies.

Keywords: Overseas Chinese Professionals; Entry and Exit Administration; Nationality; Green Card; Social Security System

    B.8  Suggestions on Fully Utilizing the Resources of Overseas Chinese Professionals

Abstract: In 2004, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao observed that China’s Government should devote more efforts to attracting overseas Chinese talent, encouraging, drawing and supporting them to come back to work or start their own business. Currently, policies or programs targeting overseas Chinese professionals include favourable entry and exit and residence policies as well as talent development programs. All of them stick to the following principles: single citizenship, an emphasis on attracting foreign financial investment, and a preference for attracting high-level overseas talents to come back to work or start their own enterprises. However, due to their lack of knowledge of Chinese domestic market, scientific and technological level, laws and regulations, overseas Chinese professionals face many problems and challenges. The report aims to provide concrete suggestions regarding these issues.

Keywords: Overseas Chinese Professionals; Returnees Entrepreneurship; Serving Homeland

    B.9  Thoughts and Suggestions on How to Utilize the Resources of Overseas Chinese Professional Associations

Abstract: Brain drain is an issue that confronts both emerging countries and developing countries. To tackle this problem, various countries have initiated different policies regarding their overseas talent and professional associations, which provide good models for Chinese authorities in dealing with citizens of China living abroad. In order to fully utilize the resources of overseas Chinese, our government should shift the policy focus from "investment attraction" to "investment and talent attraction" and take good advantage of the overseas Chinese talent pool. To this end, the following principles should be followed: attracting overseas Chinese back home to serve their homeland, providing preferential policies covering all levels of talents while focusing on high-end talents in the key areas, and giving policy support while respecting market rules.

Meanwhile, to establish an efficient talent-attracting mechanism, the government should work together with social organizations, and emphasize  three types of talents-attracting methods, namely, the attraction of talent teams, attracting talent through key team members, attracting talents through high-tech projects.

Keywords: Brain Drain; Overseas Chinese Professional; Policies on Overseas Chinese Affairs; Overseas Chinese Affairs

B10 Survey on Overseas Chinese Professionals

Abstract: From2012 to 2013, CCG conducted a survey among overseas Chinese professionals in Chengdu (Sichuan Province), Kun shan (Jiangsu Province) and at the 15th Guangzhou Convention of Overseas Chinese Scholars in Science and Technology. The survey report details the major features of Chinese overseas professionals and provides practical suggestions on how to take advantage of the overseas Chinese talent pool.

Keywords: Survey; Overseas Students; Overseas Chinese Professionals

    B11 List of Chinese Overseas Professional Associations

B12 Postscript

 

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