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Over 900,000 foreigners work in Chinese mainland in 2016

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-16 18:30

GUANGZHOU -- More than 900,000 foreigners were employed on the Chinese mainland in 2016, an indispensable force in the country's development, a senior Chinese official said on Sunday.

Foreign experts are important resources. They will help China achieve economic and social prosperity, Zhang Jianguo, head of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) told the 15th Conference on International Exchange of Professionals held in South China's Shenzhen city.

Foreign experts should be offered opportunities in sectors that have specific demand for them, he said, calling for measures to prevent "brain waste". Meanwhile, unskilled foreign workers demanding ultra-high wages should be denied.

To attract more foreign talent, China streamlined the paperwork needed to secure foreigners a work visa. The trial program has unified the previous two permits into a single work permit, making it easier for foreigners to work in China.

The number of foreign employees in China has increased at a staggering pace over the past decades. There was less than 10,000 foreign experts working in China in the 1980s.

From 2001 to 2016, the country of origin of foreign experts expanded from 21 to 73, official data shows.

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