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Alistair Michie, a 62-year-old British man who has been a keen observer of China's development for 20 years, is happy to see his seven suggestions about China's public diplomacy and ways of communication with the outside world get heard by China's top decision-makers.
And on Wednesday afternoon, Michie got his latest opportunity to attend a face-to-face discussion with a Chinese leader, this time with newly elected Party leader Xi Jinping.
Being among the 20 experts invited by Xi in the first batch of foreign guests since Xi became Party leader, Michie said he is greatly encouraged by the importance Chinese leaders pay to foreign experts' advice.
Besides briefing leaders directly, Michie also discusses proposals with his Chinese friends who are high-ranking officials, and also has his ideas sent to leaders' offices through the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs, a government agency that serves foreign experts in China.
He said he is impressed that Chinese officials are keen and attentive to know thoughts from a different perspective.
There are now about 530,000 foreign experts like Michie who work in China and contribute to its growth, and many of them have proposed valuable ideas to Chinese leadership through various channels.
Yahia Mustafa Mohamed Ahmed, a senior news editor from Sudan who has been working in China for 15 years, said the world now is more integrated, and China's leaders value the importance of foreign experts and welcome them to work in China and share their insights during the country's process of modernization and progress.
Jeffrey Lehman, vice-chancellor of NYU Shanghai, said he was also impressed by the efforts of the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs to reach out regularly for suggestions from foreign experts in various fields, and to relay those suggestions to senior leaders.
Contact the writers at firstname.lastname@example.org
(China Daily 12/06/2012 page2)