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Economic growth attracts increasing overseas Chinese students
( 2003-09-30 14:36) (Xinhua)

Liu Zhikun, a man in his thirties, returned to China more than one year ago after finishing his studies in the United States. He has set up a school to teach Chinese children English in Dalian, a coastal city of northeast China's Liaoning Province.

In Liu's school, children learn English through a computerized phonetic system which can help students distinguish whether they pronounce the English words correctly and offer corresponding English words if the children speak in Chinese.

Liu's method has attracted more than 150 students.

"The fast-growing Chinese economy provides much more opportunities even than developed countries," he said.

Wider opening of China to the outside world and China's entry into the World Trade Organization have increased enthusiasm for learning English among the Chinese people.

Not only children, but also elderly Chinese, especially those living in Beijing, are learning English so that they can offer help to foreigners who will visit Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Statistics jointly released by the Ministry of Personnel and Ministry of Education show that the number of returned Chinese students has increased by an average 13 percent annually over the past 10 years. So far, more than 150,000 Chinese students have returned from overseas to participate in the modernization of China.

Many returned Chinese students work in the fields of high- technology, legal services, securities and finance and multinational corporations, education and scientific research.

Using their knowledge of international methods, world market rules and high-tech development trends, some returned Chinese students have launched enterprises of their own.

Qiu Xiaowei went to the United States to study 10 years ago and ran a company there. Qiu and an enterprise in Anshan City of Liaoning Province signed an agreement this year to set up a joint venture to produce environment-friendly organic fertilizer.

Although the joint enterprise was still under preparation, Qiu said she was confident in the market potential in China and was optimistic about the prospect of the project. She said that she would offer advanced technologies imported from the United States for the new venture.

Against the backdrop of the global economic downturn, China's economy has maintained an average 8 percent growth rate in recent years. The Chinese Government has exerted great efforts to create a sound working environment and an environment for economic development that tally with international norms.

"China has significantly improved its infrastructures, the living standard of the Chinese people has improved markedly and in some aspects, there is little difference between China and some developed countries," Liu Zhikun said.

To attract more outstanding returned Chinese students, governments at various levels in China have established industrial zones and other development zones specially for returned students. Returned Chinese students also enjoy preferential treatment in running their own businesses in terms of investment support and exemptions in taxes in the first several years of business.

Known as the "Silicon Valley" of China, Zhongguancun in Beijing is where many returned Chinese students run enterprises. Statistics show that so far, 5,000 returned students have launched 1,838 enterprises, or 15 percent of the total in Zhongguancun. On average, two businesses run by returned students are registered each day in Zhongguancun.

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