Media welcome China's plan to relax its immigration laws allowing foreigners to apply for longer residency rights.http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-27676149http://english.cntv.cn/2014/06/02/ARTI1401694641905153.shtmlhttp://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-06/03/content_17558013.htm
According to local media reports, the Organizational Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China announced on Monday that it was planning to ease regulations on granting permanent residency to foreigners.
China's green-card policy was launched in 2004 with the aim of attracting foreign experts and people with huge investments by giving them permanent residency.
Some of the the current requirements state that foreigners have to be "elite talents" or should have invested at least $500,000 (£298,000) in China to be eligible for permanent residency, the Xinhua News agency says.
The Beijing News notes that China only gives out 248 green cards each year, which is "very small" when compared with 27 million foreigners who enter the country every year.
But China is now planning to change its 2004 green-card policy to attract foreign talent. However, authorities have not given any details of the expected changes in the immigration law.
The China Daily observes that the country is facing a talent "deficit" as "more experts are leaving than entering, prompting the relaxation of the policy".
Wang Zhenyao, the director of Centre for China and Globalization, suggests that the new plan should "cover a larger group of foreigners who have good education and stable jobs".
"Also, the government should use the green card to attract overseas Chinese back," he tells the daily.
An article in the Beijing News quips that with the current stringent requirement, "the world's wealthiest people such as Bill Gates may not even meet the criteria because he does not have individual direct investment in China".
Supporting the proposed change to attract talent, the paper adds that as China progresses, the country will not only need foreign investment but also "foreign brains".
If you can read Mandarin.
Well now this is an interesting little development. Since 2004 there have been an average of 248 people per year granted "Permanent Residence" in China. That's something like 0.004% of the resident population of non-Chinese nationals. Not alot at all.
This seems to be the realization of some of the hints made in the recent 2013 immigration regulation changes. I am particularly keen on the notion of "stable employment" and the concept of "sponsorship" by a state sector organization mentioned in on of the other pieces.
This would be something which I would be very interested in.
A more rational approach to long term residence, which isn't based around throwing half a million kuai into a joint melon growing venture in Gansu, would be a real boost to the standing of China as a professional environment. Every year, China "leaks" thousands of good teachers who have come here, upskilled, and then toddled off because they have no future here. Under the right circumstances, and with the right employers, this kind of legislation would help to retain existing skills and encourage people to make a serious investment in their careers within China, rather than treating it as a transient "stopping point".
Obviously wailaw has something to say about this too: http://lawandborder.com/ccp-considers-easing-green-card-requirements/
Although it seems to have taken him by surprise a little. Most of the news seems to have failed to connect the dots but if, like me, you are an assiduous reader of the websites of state organs then you'll have spotted ...
Xi JP attended a conference for Foreign Experts in May and said some nice things, including:
He said China had long valued talent and it was now more urgent than ever to expand this input and include more experts from throughout the world.
The country needed to implement a more open talent policy, to bring in talent no matter where it came from, make the most use of it and trust it fully, he said.
Describing foreign experts as "private ambassadors" and members of the Chinese family, Xi called on them to communicate a "comprehensive, true and dynamic China" to the world.
And less than a month later the Central Committee releases a statement? Seems to suggest that some attention is actually being paid to this issue and that change may therefore come.
I like the bit about "trusting it fully" as well - I think that's a suggestion that "what is written down should be what actually happens".