Bringing the Party Back In: The 1000 Talents Program and the ...
Bringing the Party Back In: The CCP in China's Search for Talent David Zweig Chair Professor, Division of Social Science Director, Center on Environment, Energy and Resource Policy Associate Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology ======================================== University of Southern California, US-China Institute, 15 January 2013 ========================================== Forthcoming as: David Zweig and Wang Huiyao, Can China Bring Back the Best? The Communist Party Organizes Chinas Search for Talent, The China Quarterly Introduction For some fortunate developing countries, the international flow of their human talent has recently been more of a "reverse brain drain" than a brain drain. South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and India have a "brain gain." China joined the group of states whose students, after going abroad to study, now find sufficient opportunity and an acceptable quality of life back home to make returning after graduation a reasonable option. Why this shift? Is it purely economic growth, creating new opportunities for people with talent, capital, and technology?
Or has the state played a critical role in this important change in national development? Triggering a Reverse Brain Drain Under the New Economics of Labour Migration (NELM) School, migration as short-term, conscious strategy where a family member goes abroad to enhance their human capital and returns after increasing it. Government incentives can motivate people who want to do well to come home if the environment is right. Particularly, entrepreneurs would be potential reverse migrants. Government Role in the Flow of Human Talent Governments can deregulate controls on human movement, lower transaction costs of reverse migration. give dual passports or long-term residence cards for nationals with foreign citizenship. The Korean state began the return migration in 1975, Taiwan created a special organization to encourage return migration. Governments can create high tech zones, with tax breaks, discount floor space, and help entering the local market. Improve overall scientific climate by investing in and promoting science, education and economic growth and pour funds into these sectors. Newland: to facilitate circular migration,
governments must at a minimum create an "enabling environment in the country of origin. The most fundamental (and most difficult) elements of this are establishment of the rule of law, property rights, open and transparent government, lack of corruption and other attributes of good governance, including dual citizenship or eliminating visa requirements for members of the diaspora who are citizens of another country. Cerase: state must overcome bias against returnees at national, institutional or individual level. First 25 Years: Limited Success Role of CCP sporadic, key work by ministries of Education, Personnel, and Science and by CAS. CAS' "100 Talents Program, awarded 2 million RMB, bought equipment, funded labs, supplemented returnees salary (by 20%). Recipients given authority over research team in their lab. By 2004, 100 Talents Program brought back 899. Key academics award is Cheung Kong Scholar, funded by MOE and Li Kai-hsing--by
2004, 537. NSFC Distinguished Scholars Program, 1994-2004, brought back 1176 scientists Municipalitys Policies More than 100 cities established incubators for overseas entrepreneurs in new high tech zones and some invested in these companies. Cities offered special incentives, such as tax free purchases of new equipment and cars, free floor space in the incubator, in some cases, company managing returned entrepreneurs incubator invested funds in the new start up. Jiang Era Policy Changes Jiang accepted that Chinas talent is part of global talent pool. Chinese government needed to let its talent go abroad to increase the value of its human capital and then compete with other countries in the global marketplace for this now enhanced talent. Zhu Rongji, September 2001, henceforth China would change the emphasis of the open policy from attracting foreign capital to attracting human talent and technology.
Success and Problems Mixed Outcome China's science recovered quickly in the early-, mid-1980s, as hundreds of Visiting Scholars returned to universities and research institutes after 2 years abroad. They had worked on cutting edge equipment in the labs overseas. In 1983, World Bank gave loans to purchase similar equipment to what they had used in the West. They used this knowledge and funding from abroad to build many new key national laboratories. However, return flow stopped after June 4th, 1989 which dealt China a terrible blow many researchers who had received Western PhDs in the 1980s stay abroad. The Emergence of a Mainland Diaspora June 4th creates instant diaspora of Chinese talent overseas. Figure 1: Non-U.S. citizens awarded doctorates in science and engineering: PRC, Taiwan and India, 1998-2002 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Source: Science and Engineering Doctorate Awards, 2002 (SRS Home Page, October 2003). PRC Taiwan India Table 2. Number and percent of Asian S&E doctoral recipients with firm plans to stay in U.S., 1988-96 Location Asia (total) Total S&E PhDs % with Total with Firm Firm plans Plans Postdoc study %
13.9 Problems in Chinese Academy of Sciences "100 Talents Program" brought back mostly researchers who had only finished a PhD or a post-doctoral fellowship abroad. Very limited experience devising a major research project and directing a research teams. Director of CAS institute in Northeast, said in 2004 that he could not get top 20% of Mainland scientists living abroad to return to China. work climate in units not conducive to success. Returnees complain of time wasted on cultivating personal relations, rather on research, to gain research funding, and petty jealousies complicate their work. more success in recruiting overseas entrepreneurs to set up new companies in China. They run their own shops, but still have to deal with local governments. Jump in Returnees due to jump in numbers going abroad Number of returnees has increased rapidly since 1999, with big jump in 2007 follows by two years a huge outbound jump in 2005. Mostly MA and MBA students who have tried to enhance their credentials.
But these are not the world quality scientists, academics and entrepreneurs that China wants so much to attract. No. of Students Going Out and Returning, 1978-2009 260000 240000 220000 200000 180000 140000 120000 100000 80000 60000 40000 20000 Year No. Going Abroad No. of Returned 2009
1981 1980 Source: National Bureau of Statistics, China Statistical Yearbook, 2009 (Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe, 2010). 1979 0 1978 Numbers 160000 Bringing the State Back In: Round One, 2001-2003 May 2002, General Offices of CC-CCP and State Council promulgate 2002-2005 Outline for Building the Ranks of Nationwide Talent, with strategy of strengthening the country through human talent ( ). first CCP national level meeting to discuss talent. Accord returnees complete trust, and quickly determine concrete methods for selecting highly talented returnees to take up leadership positions. End of 2002, meeting of Organizational Department, Zeng
Qinghong, member of Standing Committee of Politburo responsible for personnel, promulgated principle that The Party Manages Talent ( ) CCP-Politburo on June 9th, 2003 established a Central Leadership Small Group to Coordinate the Work on Talent. Local governments established Departments on the Work on Talent ( ) with their own general offices. December 2003, Hu Jintao put forward idea of a shift from CCP managing cadres ( ) to CCP managing talent ( ). Organization Department fails to transform the environment in units around China whose liberalization critical to attracting major talents from abroad. web-based survey in 2004 of over 3,000 respondents found that the most important force holding people back from returning was the complicated nature of human relations in Chinese society. Investors felt that the legal system needed improvement. My 2002 survey: when calculating whether to return, mainland expatriates less interested in special privileges, preferring a systematic reform of China's policies on human talent. Improving the climate for returnees would be
the issue that the CCP would have to address in the next policy drive. MOE and Chen Zhili Chen Zhili , State Councillor responsible for education, in March 2007 admitted that universities did not have enough talent to make China a creative society ( ). China needed ``new ways of thinking ( ) and new methods to bring people back to China. China needed more mature, world class professors to return to its universities and that the states research monies should be used to bring this about. Staying after School, 2002-07 Li Yuanchao on Building China Through Talent October 2007, 17th Central Committee, Li Yuanchao, became head of Organizational Department (CC-OD) and the head of the LSGT. Li wedded to the idea that talent is the core ( ) of a nations global creativity and competitiveness and if Chinese firms are to be globally successful, they must attract very talented returnees. For him, human talent is a strategic resource (
) and bringing them in is a strategic investment ( ) In December 2008, he called for creating a welcoming environment based on three kinds of kuan ( ) -- , -- that is, relaxed, tolerant and lenient. Li Yuanchao 2 Li told Chinese executives to appeal to the hearts ( ) of returnees, including love of country ( ), love of their careers ( ) and need for self-esteem ( ). These firms are critical to his goal of making China an innovative nation ( ), a term he repeats all the time. He applauds laboratories, such as the National Institute of Biological Science, which he visited in January 2009, for introducing world standards in hiring and the meritocratic manner of allocating funding to research teams. The 1000 Talent's Program December 2008, Small Group for Coordinating Work on Talent (SGOT) outlined new 1000 Talents ProgramChina to bring back 2000 highly talented over 5-10 years. Document emphasized that human talent is the most important resource ( ) and that attracting Chinas overseas talent was absolutely necessary if China
were to raise it global competitiveness and become an innovative society. Plan called for the return of people who can make breakthroughs in key technologies ( ) and could serve as scientific and technological leaders who can bring forward newly emerging fields ( ). each locality set a plan combining socio-economic development and restructuring of local economy, and was to go out and bring in overseas talent that could bring about those changes. Nationwide recruitment efforts Fall 2009, at local meetings nationwide, municipalities proposed the talent the locality needed. Cities volunteered commitments as to the number of talented returnees they would recruit. Beijing announced target of 500 people, Guangzhou 300, Jinan promised 150, all within 3-5 years. City and provincial governments and party officials set out across Canada and the US on recruitment drives. In December 2009, Shanghai sent out a team to recruit 115 people in the financial sector alone, a task made easier by the Global Financial Crisis. Visited New York, Toronto and Singapore. The payment package was competitive, city government promised to resolve all housing, education and healthcare problems.
Original Content of the Program, 2008 Awardees must have foreign PhD, be under 55, willing to work in China for no less than 6 months each year. The program seeking: experts and scholars with titles on a par with professors in prestigious foreign universities and scientific research institutes; senior technical and management professionals working in wellknown international companies and financial institutions; entrepreneurs owning proprietary intellectual property rights or who mastered "core technologies," who have overseas experience as an entrepreneur and are familiar with related industries and international practice; entrepreneurs must own IPR rights and invention patents, technologies must be "internationally advanced" that "can fill the domestic gap in this regard, have market potential and can be put into industrialized production." More Criteria Awardees must have started own business overseas or served as middle- and senior managers in renown international firm for over three years, know international rules in that sector. Start-up capital must come from their own funds, their technology's appraisal as capital stock, or foreign venture capital that accounts for over 50% of the capital investment. Employers must provide favorable working conditions, allow them to assume leadership, professional or technical positions. Employers must find jobs for spouses and schools for children.
settle in any city of their choice. one-time subsidy of RMB1 million, be entitled to medical care, social insurancepensions, medical insurance, and work-related injury insurance. Housing, food allowance, subsidy for home leave, and children-education allowance, all tax free. Could buy second house new salary reached thru consultation and be reasonable in light of their previous salary overseas. MHRSS' Overseas Students and Experts Service Center expected to establish a team to help returnees manage issues such as Permanent Residence, urban registration, medical treatment, school enrollment of children, etc. Changing the Policy Atmosphere Ministry of Human Resources and Social Services (MHRSS) which had directed Leadership Group on Coordinating Talent ( ), was replaced in 2008 by Leadership Small Group on Talent under Organization Department and its Office of Human Talent, which runs the policy on a daily basis. All ministries responsible for aspects of the reverse brain drain are members, but Organization Department uses its higher authority to coordinate competing interests and insure the policy's success. Now the MHRSS holds the post of Vice-chair of the group. Little formal change of local administrative authority; Only the Beijing Service Center for Scholarly Exchange, a service
company under the MHRSS and the Ministry of Education, was transferred from State Council system and placed directly under the Organization Department. But informal authority has shifted. Service Centers for Scholarly Exchange in large cities remain under MHRSS in city government, but now report to local LSGT, directly under the Municipal Party Committee. Meetings now run by local CCP Committee and Org Bureau. Officials in service centers hoping unit not taken over by CCP. Party Involvement Changed the policy environment In fall 2009, cities mobilized to evaluate community's technical and scientific needs, commit find these specialists overseas. With policy under CCP, local bureaucrats under pressure, but "soft quotas" will not affect careers if not accomplished. But as one local official commented, "the policy is now under the CCP, so of course the pressure is greater." Heightened expectations especially heavy for the units that use returnees, , including universities, high tech parks, research institutes and companies (SOEs), which are under pressure to improve their internal environment. Pressure on Cities and Universities Interviews with officials in major university in North China attest to new pressures unpublicized incentives come with well-funded program
administered by the CCP. city established its own 1000 Talents Plan and encourages the university to bring in talent to help it meets its quota. Deans of various colleges in the university are searching for highly talented people who can meet local or national level criteria. University notified faculty in spring 2008, asking them to contact friends and former students to consider coming back. One HR staffer at university, "I have no pressure, but my Dean does." Why? The government is eager to see the achievements of this project quickly." Incentives: a college that brings in a candidate who is approved as a national level 1000 Talentsregardless of full-time or part-time--the school gets 12 million RMB (almost US$2 million), Returnee gets bulk of monies for his own research, but the dean redistributes some of the monies to other faculty, making the awarding of a 1000 Talents Fellowship a positive event for the whole college. Reportedly, colleges with locally approved full-time 1000 Talents receive 8 million RMB of which they can keep some funds; Short-term fellows (under 2 months) under municipal project only get air ticket, enhancing incentives to return full time. college also gets considerably less than the 8 million RMB. Some people in Beijing deny there is such a policy.
Major Advantages to TTP TTP is very important for Western China because it brings about changes. The government here are all leftists--they are not willing to change things. Before the TTP, if a wife wanted to live here but is a US citizen, she had to go back to the US yearly to renew her China visa. We could not get her a long-term resident permit. But now the city government has agreed to give people a green card or long-term resident permit. We didnt have it hereShanghai didbut now we do. (Interview in Xian, October 2012) Increased secrecy: Why? CCP not publicly announcing list of awardees, though list of 360 awardees was posted on website. Local universities not necessarily posting names on websites. Recruit very talented mainlanders, many with jobs and commitments to organizations abroad. Senior academics planning to relocate may not want their names displayed at host institutions. Some Mainland professors working overseas are trying to hold two positions and draw two salaries Wang Xiaodong, prof at Ohio State University, negotiating a 1000 Talent's Award at Nankai University, was target of complaint by colleague at OSU about amount of time spent as
"dean" of a new college of Pharmacy he set up at Nankai. Many part-time participants do not want their names published fearing that they will be fired. HKUST has set up formal ties with Zhongshan University for parttime employment of one of its faculty. Measuring Success True measure would be dramatic elevation in Chinese science, but will take at least five years, if not longer, to show an impact. The policy intended to change research climate, but intolerance does not become tolerance over night. Shi Yigong and Rao Yi ) gave up professorship at Princeton and Northwestern to return to Tsinghua and Peking U. In Science they lament that allocation of grants and awards still depends too heavily on who you know, not what you know, Early returnees, now in positions of authority in scientific establishment, resist reforms that would put more funds in the hands of the current crop of star, 1000 Talent returnees. Too major concessions in suggested short-term flaws in program. Many awards bestowed on people who already returned. While initial award intended only for full time (minimum 6 months) returnees, in mid-2010 began A and B schedule latter only spending 2 months a year in China, unwilling to commit to returning full time. 1000 Talents More Successful on Some Indicators Total
No Program Years NSF Distinguished Scholar 19942004 1176 MOE Cheung Kong Scholars 19942004 CAS 100 Talent's Program 1000 Talent's Program* % with Foreign % with
1100 n.a. 88% Source: Simon and Cao, China's Emerging Technological Edge, p. 240. * Zweig's research Critiques on Chinese websites 1. Prof at Huazhong University of Science and Technology( says that while senior people may promote school's prestige, they are unlikely to make a major breakthrough during the rest of their career; their truly creative burst is past. His suggestion? Bring back 10,000 recent PhDs, give opportunity to be innovative and they will produce very significant breakthroughs. 2. All are contracts, not tenured: For people abroad with tenure overseas as full professors, program not attractive enough." That the policy caved in so quickly on the two month issue suggested that organizations working on talent policy are chaotic and lack systematic coordination; policy's actual content and what was being advertised were totally different, making policy look silly. While role of personal ties in ministries, bureaus and laboratories can be overcome, it is a long term process. many overseas scholars have "little confidence that they can adjust to the domestic
scientific research environment." Third critique comes from within MOE 3. Some MOE officials feel that policy they have administered for several decades has been taken out of their hands. Despite Org. Department's leading role, it lacks the staff overseas to contact and encourage mainlanders to return. work falls to Education counsellors in overseas consulates and on the MHRSS. One MOE official: we do the work but the policy is implemented under the leadership of the organization department ( . Secrecy has aura of clandestine talent war, led by the CCP part of undeclared strategy to become most powerful nation in the world. Funding Problems in 2011 Recent interviewee, Recent returnees will always have more trouble getting grants. It takes at least three years for people to know and trust you. There are two aspects to evaluating an application. First, the project plan, with 60-70% of the evaluation based on that. But 30-40% of the evaluation is based on relationships, it cant be avoided in Chinese society especially since everyone can guess who wrote the application.
Also, although much of the money goes directly to the applicants, the directors of research institutes can decide who can apply for the grants. Interview in Guangzhou, November 2011, with 1000 Talents recipient. Me and Li Yuanchao, June 2012, Shenzhen My critique: Power of Administrators Too much power in hands of Academic and Scientific administrators, top ranked scientists and academics do not want to work under their supervision. Some administrators still oppose higher salaries for 1000 Talents, one told this to Li Yuanchao. Li Yuanchao asked Dalian Polytechnical University President if he had too much power? When the president complained that 1000 Talents Program was too inequitable, Li told him that his goal was not equality, but was development ( !)) Xian Jiaotong U set up special academic zones for department with three 1000 Talentsin this way the program can affect the internal workings of universities. Data Set
(1) After getting an original 365 names from the web, we scoured websites of universities and research centers to build a data set of 501 Thousand Talent Fellows (1/3 of all awardees at that time). Today, they have awarded almost 3000 people with this title. (1) Collected By Sun Meng, Sam Age Distribution of 1000 Talents, 2011 Age Percent Over 55 8.1 51 55 26.6 45 - 50
54.8 Under 45 9.9 Source: Various websites Note: N = 274 or 54.7 percent of the total sample. Country of PhD, last residence and percent change Country of PhD Workplace Abroad before returning Change Country/Region No. Percent No. Percent
No. % of Total U.S.A. 274 55.9 334 68.7 +60 12.8 China 59 11.8 N/A
0.0 2 0.4 +2 0.4 Brazil 1 0.2 0 0.0 -1 -0.2 Total 490
100 486 100 Year in which 1000 Recipients Obtained PhDs, % of total per year Type Full-time Part-time Total A-innovative 99 (26.4%) 275 (74.6%) 374 (74.6%) B-innovative
36 (80%) 9 (20%) 45 (9.0%) C-entrepreneur 73 (89.0%) 9 (11.0) 82 (16.4%) Total 208 (41.5%) 293 (58.5%) 501 (100%) Percentages are row percentages A-innovative scholars working in universities and research institutes. B-innovative scientists or managers working in enterprises. C-entrepreneurial talents running own companies or with friends.
Notes: Geographic Location in China of 1000 Talent Awardees CAPS data, 2011 Web Data, 2011 Province/Major city No. % No. % Beijing 415 27.5 103 20.6
15.8 Total 1510 100.0 501 100.0 Source: CAPs refers to data from the Chinese Academy of Personnel Sciences, while Web Data refers to data collected by Sun Meng. pZ G 1T w 28 z M N 8 Y Ec A
46 y V X v 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Year of Return Positive Views of Short-term Option According to an official in a university in Western China: We actually prefer the Adjunct system where they come for a short period each year. We want to maintain friendly relations
with them, but right now we dont have the necessary conditions to make them comfortable with staying long-term. So, we do not want to promise something that we cant deliver or have them come and be disappointed. I can afford to pay them 3-6 months of salary, but I cant afford to give them a full 12 month salary at the higher salaries. Also, there will be much anger within the school. Conclusion Three factors support optimistic perspective. Li Yuanchao targeted key block to reverse flow of exceptionally talented the difficult intellectual environment and science culture in individual units. Organization Department and Leadership Small Group on Talent use their authority over ministries and bureaus to overcome complications from overlapping authority. When Shi Yigong could not enroll his child in Tsinghua's high school, Org Department admitted him to Beida high school; MOE could not accomplish. Many talented people have been encouraged to engage part-time with China: past experience with CAS suggests that this policy may have limits and problems. Conclusion But Li is no longer responsible for the program. New Director of Organization Department did not attend the Guangzhou Returnees Fair in December and Chinese leaders
often change policies when they come into office. Can scientific culture be dramatically changed without political liberalization? Vested interests means non-transparent decisions will not change overnight. Second, business, scientific and academic returnees fear Chinas bureaucracy and myriad regulations that complicate their return and stifle their initiative. Despite active intervention of the CCP, what could not be accomplished for 30 years attracting large numbers of the very best and very brightest to return and live in China is still not going to happen so soon.
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