China has expanded its program to attract overseas talent by adding 55 introduction plans to the latest brain gain list.
Overseas personnel introduced by the plans will enjoy preferential policies in visa applications, residence permits, settling in China as well as exit/entry convenience equal with members of the influential Thousand Talent program initiated in December 2008, the People's Daily reported on Sunday.
The newspaper cited a circular jointly issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee Organization Department, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.
Prof. Wu Jiang of the Chinese Academy of Governance said the lower threshold for talent expands the scope of talent visas, which gained legal status in 2012.
"Previously China introduced very few overseas experts, as the threshold was high and the exit/entry rules were strict," said an official of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
More overseas personnel have come to China thanks to the talent introduction programs. Since 2008, the Thousand Talent program has introduced more than 4,100 overseas staff, with local governments attracting more than 30,000, according to official figures.
By the end of 2013, more than 1.44 million overseas Chinese students had returned to China, with returnees in 2013 five times the number in 2008.
The newspaper cited biologist Shi Yigong of Tsinghua University and Physicist Pan Jianwei of the University of Science and Technology of China, both among the first group of Thousand Talent program scientists to come back to China, the backbone in the country's innovation.
Rules on foreigners' permanent residence in China are in the pipeline and expected to take effect before the year end, which will further highlight preferential policies.