China will speed up the exploration of immigration policies this year to attract skilled foreign workers, a senior official said in January 2014.
Experts said Zhang’s remarks show that China may, for the first time, single out skilled workers as a special category in its general immigration polices, as the country faces a shortage of such workers.
Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globalization, said the government urgently needs to revise its immigration policies to attract more highly skilled foreigners.
“China’s population is aging quickly and we also need more skilled workers for our economic upgrading,” he said. China needs to loosen its immigration policies, including giving citizenship to skilled foreign nationals, he added.
Such immigration policies are common in Western countries, which roll out favorable measures for the skilled foreign workers they lack.
China has experienced a talent “deficit” for years. In 2012 alone, more than 148,000 Chinese obtained overseas citizenship, while just 1,202 expatriates were granted permanent residency in China, according to a report by Wang’s center.
Read more: China Daily