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Beijing's Welcome Mat for China Abroad
By changing its visas programme, China has opened new doorways for non-national Chineses. Beijing's latest notice allows expatriates with a legacy in China to obtain a specific multiple-entry visas for up to five years. It will extend the current practice of allowing persons with a legacy in China to obtain a one-year visas with a three-year duration.
Entitled to submit applications are all non-residents with China inheritance, regardless of how many generation of their families have been living outside China. This step is in line with China's President Xi Jinping's address to the 19 th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CCP) in October 2017, which focused on the issue of rejuvenating the nation.
Unlike his forerunners, Xi thinks that China's foreign community has a part to play in his visions for a more affluent and innovating China that holds a key place in global governance. There will be wide-ranging contact with foreigners from China, bringing together returning Chinese people and their families to join our efforts to revive the country.
It is China's intention to introduce the welcome mat for foreigners to " go home". Studies and accounts of the CCP's impact on Australia's policies and institutional framework have raised grave concerns in Australia and led to a counter-reaction by the government of China and the press. Consequently, Australians of Chinaman origin have been thrown into barrage and their loyalties have been wrongly questioned.
Amid this challenging period for the China Pacific Fellowship in Australia, the intention of the government to draw foreign nationals to "revitalize the China nation" has the capacity to aggravate the situation. Chineses abroad are among the best trained and most prosperous experts and businessmen in the whole wide range of the economy. Beijing's Think Tank Center for China and Globalization's 2017 Report on China's Regional International Talent Competitiveness, according to the Beijing think-tank, nearly 4 million of China's 60 million currently working abroad in the fields of China's educational, financial and technological talent.
Shifting visas policies is seen by many observers as a strategy for the government to bring the best and lightest people to China. Sequential China executives and administrators have sought to liaise with China abroad through programmes such as the China Expedition for Outstanding Young Americans.
When I was asked by the People' s Republic of China to participate in the 9th issue of this programme in 2013, I was asked to take part. I was seen by the China authorities as "outstanding" because of my role as a municipal councilor for the city of Monash in Melbourne and as a Sino-Australian church director.
Beijing saw me introduce to many young foreign experts from China from all over the globe. Our welcome was with the best possible local welcome, which included a welcome and supper in the Great Hall of the People. It was clear that the organizer's mission, the Office for China Affairs Abroad, was: "No where in the worid you are living, we all have a common source.
" This was a notable turnaround for a land and administration that once treats foreign nationals with distrust, even as "blood traitors" and "spies". Due to their expatriate experiences, China's expat community is more open to new societal and policy insights and patterns. The CCP, which above all challenges electoral institutions and regimes, may find the extension of power and control to foreign nationals counter-productive.
Failure of the government to engage in direct and open dialogue on policy and society can be frustrating for many foreigners who are used to live and work in democracies. Peking must be aware that it cannot be expected that the Chineses abroad will bring their capabilities to bear while forbidding them to express themselves and shape the agendas and directions of the nation.
Beijing, by calling for historic and emotive links with China, is committed to winning the allegiance and engagement of the transatlantic Chinaese diaspora. It is a cornerstone of Xi's plans to make the nation younger and expand part of the "China Dream" to include humans of China origin around the globe.
On the other hand, I suppose that the ongoing discussion about the CCP's impact on Australia's policy will discourage many Australians of China origin from accepting Xi's new proposal. No matter if it' commercial, private or emotionally, the Chineses are once again caught between our legacy and our home country.