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Institutional Mechanisms as Applied to Return Migrants in Contemporary China Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley USA The Third Consultative Meeting.

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Presentation on theme: "Institutional Mechanisms as Applied to Return Migrants in Contemporary China Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley USA The Third Consultative Meeting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Institutional Mechanisms as Applied to Return Migrants in Contemporary China Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley USA The Third Consultative Meeting of the MIREM Project 3-4 November 2008 European University Institute, Florence, Italy

2 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 2 Presentation Outline I. Terminologies of Chinese returnees II. Structural framework III. Legal system IV. Institutional supports V. Reflections and open questions

3 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 3 I. Terminologies of Chinese Returnees Traditional returnees: Guiqiao (general) Contemporary returnees: Haigui (specific)

4 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 4 Guiqiao: returning sojourners Chinese returned migrants and/or their offspring from other countries, mainly from Southeast Asia. 35 million Chinese outside of China (18.3% of people living abroad in the world). 24 million in parts of Southeast Asia (74.5% of all overseas Chinese). Fastest growth in America and Canada: 5 million (14%), 4.6% increase in the past ten years. By 2000, 1.5 million in Europe (3.7%). Guiqiao: 1 million source: china.com.cn

5 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 5 Haigui: returnees from overseas Highly educated professionals and students from America, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, etc after the economic reforms (the late 1970s)

6 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 6 Numbers of students abroad and Haigui YearGoing abroadReturning to ChinaRate of returns 1996270,00089,00032.9% 1997296,00096,00032.4% 1998302.00099,00032.7% 1999320,000112,00035% 2000340,000130,00038.2% 2001460,000135,00029.3% 2002585,000153,00026.2% 2003700,000178,00025.4% 2004814,000198,00024.3% 2005933,000233,00024.9% 20061,067,000275,00025.8% 20071,211,700 Source: Wang, 2007 319,70026.4%

7 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 7 1970s-2007: more than 1,211,700 Chinese from mainland China left to study in more than 100 countries, and 319,700 returned to China PhDs: 9%, Masters: 72%, Bachelors: 19% Economics and management: 49%, Science and engineering: 25%, Social sciences and humanities: 14%, Laws: 6%, Others: 6% America: 32%, Europe: 28%, Oceania: 14%, Asia: 25%, Africa: 0.5% Source: Ministry of Education Net Wang, Contemporary Chinese returnees (2007)

8 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 8 II. Structural mechanism Peoples congress Government sectors Political associations Non-government organizations

9 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 9 Structural mechanism Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee of the National Peoples Congress - the highest institution in charge of overseas Chinese affairs including Chinese living abroad and Chinese returnees - legislation and relevant political proposals

10 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 10 Structural mechanism Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council Overseas Chinese Affairs Office at the provincial and municipal levels -Policy making and implementation -Relevant affairs

11 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 11 Structural mechanism Chinese embassies in other countries -provide support and assistance to Chinese living abroad. -provide relevant documents for overseas Chinese before they return to China

12 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 12 Structural mechanism Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference -discuss policies and laws related to overseas Chinese and returnees -monitor the implementation of polices and laws

13 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 13 Structural mechanism China Zhi Gong Party -a political party in China -members are Chinese returnees or relatives of overseas Chinese

14 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 14 Structural mechanism Chinese Association of Returned Overseas Chinese (QL) -an association that provides services to returned Chinese -in charge of political, business, cultural, social, and other grassroots affairs related to returned Chinese

15 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 15 Structural mechanism Chinese Association of Overseas Exchange -organization to promote economic and cultural exchanges between Chinese returnees and foreign countries

16 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 16 Structural mechanism Other government sectors in charge of relevant work: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security

17 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 17 Structural mechanism Beijing Chinese Language and Culture College, Jinan University, Huaqiao University, Chinese Enterprise Management Consulting Company Chinese QL Public Welfare Management Service Center Overseas Chinese Historical Museum Overseas Chinese History Research Institute Chinese QL Institutional Service Center Overseas Chinese Magazine, At Home and Overseas Magazine The Chinese Overseas Publishing House Chinaqw.com.cn

18 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 18 III. Legal system: Constitution of PRC - Article 50: Overseas Chinese, returnees and their family members rights and interests are protected in China. - Article 70: Overseas Chinese Committee in the National Peoples Congress has the right to study, discuss, and make relevant proposals regarding overseas Chinese and returnees. - Article 89 (12): The State Council has the right to protect overseas Chinese and returnees and their family members legal rights and interests.

19 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 19 Other Laws Law of PRC on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Returned Overseas Chinese and the Family Members of Overseas Chinese (implement:1991; amendment:2000) - basic rights, residence, employment status, political participation, housing, health care, travel, education, social welfare, etc

20 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 20 Other Laws Measures for the Implementation of the Law of PRC on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Returned Overseas Chinese and the Family Members of Overseas Chinese (implement: 1993; amendment 2004)

21 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 21 IV. Institutional supports - Current supports mainly focus on attracting highly educated overseas Chinese to return to China (Haiguithose who study and/or work abroad and return to China) - Fundamental policy: supporting Chinese to study abroad, encouraging them to return to China, and creating a free environment of traveling back and forth

22 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 22 Relevant policies 1981: Open policy for self-financed students to study abroad 1985: Abolishment of the qualification evaluation for self-financed students to study abroad 1992: Notification about related issues regarding Chinese studying abroad 2000: Opinions about encouraging overseas high- profile Chinese studying abroad to return to work in China

23 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 23 Relevant policies 2001: Several suggestions about encouraging Chinese studying abroad to serve the home country in multiple ways 2006: the Eleventh five year planning for returned overseas students 2007: Several suggestions about further strengthening the work to attract overseas outstanding talents ; Suggestions about building the green channel for high- profile returned overseas students (eight qualifications)

24 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 24 Service agencies Western Returned Scholars Association Chinese Overseas Educated Scholars Association Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange Association of Overseas Chinese Enterprises

25 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 25 Financial support Starting funding for returned overseas researchers, teachers, and startups, etc Tax exemption and benefits

26 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 26 Human resource programs Overseas Young Scholars back to China Plans (1990) New Centurys Outstanding Talents Plans (1991) National Outstanding Young Scientist Funds (1994) Hundred People Plans (1994) Chunhui (Spring sunshine) Plans (1996) Yangtze River Scholar Plans (1998)

27 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 27 Educational support Academic exchange programs to finance students and scholars to study abroad Scholarships for students abroad

28 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 28 Infrastructural support More than one hundred Returned Overseas Chinese Parks and high-tech zones housing 6,000 companies started by returnees

29 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 29 Residential and family support Housing and residency benefits Spouses and Childrens benefits

30 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 30 Information support Specialized information centers Websites Job/project fairs and database

31 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 31 V. Reflections: Pros 1. Positive historical discourses of returnees by the government, media, schools and the mass Returnees = success + value (collectively and individually)

32 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 32 2. Strong ideology of returned overseas Chinese The meanings and motives of going abroad and returning: nationalism (serve the country), sentiments (homesickness), strategies (self-development)

33 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 33 3. Relatively mature ecosystem to support overseas Chinese both when they live abroad and return

34 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 34 4. Strong tangible supports from the government to legitimate returnees

35 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 35 5. Ideological connection between returnees and technological and economic development in contemporary China - What can Haigui do for China (survey by Peoples Daily in 2007) Bring advanced scientific knowledge to drive national economic development: 72% Promote peoples mode of thinking to become more international: 13% Drive national economy to become globalized: 9% Bring foreign cultural elements: 4% - concrete facts in research and entrepreneurship e.g: National scientific awards: 67% (2006) Chinese companies listed on Nasdaq: more than 50% Source: Wang, 2007

36 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 36 Pros of the Chinese return migration mechanisms (cont.) 6. Strong returnee associations/political party to protect their own rights and interests

37 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 37 7. Established returnee culture in key returnee clusters -Clusters of returnees e.g. Zhongguancun high-tech park, and CBD in east Beijing - Conferences and clubs - Informal events - Third places: bars, coffee shops, dining, shopping, etc

38 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 38 8. New trend of returnees and flexible system: Seagulls: Haiou-travelling back and forth

39 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 39 Cons 1. Less attention to low-skilled returnees and compelled returnees 2. Institutional supports are concentrated in the fields of science and technology, and business, but not in social sciences and humanities, etc

40 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 40 3a. Uneven geographical distribution of returnees: too much attention in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and costal cities, and less attention in the West and North of China Costal cities in southeast: 46% BJ, SH and GD: 24% Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan: 28% Others: 2% Source: Wang, 2007

41 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 41 3b. Uneven employment distribution: e.g: foreign-based companies: 27.2% universities and research institutes: 17% private companies: 15.7% start-ups: 10.9% state-owned enterprises: 9.5% government: 3.4% others: 16.33 Source: Wang, 2007

42 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 42 4. Highly educated returnees do not consider tangible supports effective or necessary, not the primary reason to drive them back (66%: family reasons) - scattered financial supports, limited office renting plans, etc

43 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 43 5. Getting institutional supports and resources become competitive due to a dramatic increase of returnees in the past few years

44 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 44 6. immature financial system in China -difficult for startups to get sustainable investment - difficult to exit for startups

45 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 45 7. The uncertainty of intangible resources, social capital, education due to cultural limits e.g. guanxi politics (social relations) different education cultures for returnees children

46 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 46 Open Questions 1. double citizenship? No double citizenship according to the Chinese law Vague strategies

47 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 47 2. More work is needed to consider the future return migration trend. How does China deal with the surplus labor market in rural China? How to build a mechanism to deal with the reintegration of rural migrant returnees?

48 Kun Chen University of California, Berkeley 48 Thank you! kunchen@berkeley.edu


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