Expats encouraged to make suggestions

Updated: 2014-01-22 01:01

By He Dan (China Daily)

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Senior governmental officials vowed on Tuesday to encourage foreign experts to put forward suggestions for China's reform and development.

Liu Yanguo, deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, said his administration will encourage more foreign experts to get involved in sharing their perspectives via its foreign-experts recommendation project.

The administration has improved its website, which gives updated information on the program and enables foreign experts to communicate with each other to generate ideas, Liu said at an annual seminar with foreign experts in Beijing on Tuesday.

The administration will also provide foreign experts opportunities in field studies and communication with the public so that they can put forward quality proposals, he said.

More than 100 foreign experts have participated in the program, and 15 written proposals have been sent to the desks of the country's top leaders since it was launched in 2012, according to the administration.

The proposals cover various aspects, including education, food security and banking management, said Sun Zhaohua, another deputy director of the administration.

China has started a thorough reform to change its development pattern featuring excessive resource consumption and environmental pollution, he said. Foreign experts are welcome to offer advice for pressing issues in development, he said.

The administration announced on Tuesday that it will hire three foreign experts — Alistair Michie, deputy chairman of the 48 Group Club; Tatsuhito Tokuchi, managing director at CITIC Securities Co, and Jeffrey Lehman, the founding deputy chancellor of New York University Shanghai — as consultants for the program. The consultants, whose tenures are two years, can invite foreign experts to give proposals.

The administration also invited Chinese experts from the Development Research Center of the State Council, a leading government think tank, to cooperate with foreign experts to provide proposals for the central leadership.

"The foreign experts proposal program is unique and innovative," said Lehman, whose proposal on reforming China's public universities caught the attention of President Xi Jinping and the Ministry of Education.

"As consultants, we have the responsibility to ensure that foreign experts who are making these proposals are of the best quality and they can properly understand the Chinese context," he said.