Brain gain

first_imgThe Chinese have an expression for what you get by studying overseas: du jing, or “a glaze of gold.”“You paint a gold layer on yourself,” said Hong Kong University social scientist David Zweig, who lectured at Harvard this week (July 19). Returning home to China, he said, means you have a leg up on a good job and fast promotions.Zweig, a onetime fellow at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, was in Cambridge to offer a glimpse of his book-in-progress on China’s gold-layered returnees.Why do they come back, and what role does the Chinese government play in getting them back?The short answers: They come back to make money, but not to change China’s politics.And the government is doing more than ever to get returnees back — but they would come back on their own anyway.The real answers are more complicated, and involve the complex interactions of many people, said Zweig: government officials, students, scholars, entrepreneurs, and families.Returnees bring ideas and energy back to China, but they bring home problems too, he said. For one, Chinese who earned less prestigious domestic degrees are resentful of the preferential treatment returnees get.But the earliest problem with returnees was that there were so few. In the two decades after 1978, barely a third of Chinese students who went overseas came back. Among students who paid their own way, the rate of return was 3 percent, said Zweig.This weak return rate weakened even more after 1989, when the Tiananmen Square incident scared off more returnees — and even triggered a government search for “class enemies” among students abroad.But by the mid-1990s, attitudes had changed and patient China took the long view. Most of its leadership came to see brain drain as a means of “storing brainpower overseas,” said Zweig. Today, they see it as “brain circulation,” he said — an investment that will eventually pay China back.The signs of payback are there already. Since 2000, the number of returnees has boomed upward. Political change is not the reason, he said, since there has not been much. Instead, Chinese come back because they see liberalized capital markets and an acceptance of private property.In short, said Zweig, returnees “can make a buck.”Since 1978, about 1.3 million Chinese students and scholars have gone abroad to study — most of them to Japan, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Canada.The earliest going overseas were hardcore elements dedicated to the Communist ideal. “They never thought about not going back,” said Zweig.Today, Chinese go abroad with a strategy in mind: Search for what is in short supply at home, then bring it back.Returnees are called hai gui, or “sea turtles,” said Zweig, named after the creatures who are born on shore, travel at sea, then instinctively return home.Other returnees — hai ou — increasingly keep ties to the West, and even maintain businesses and residences there. They are “seagulls,” he said, who fly back and forth over the sea.Returnees may be glazed in gold, but coming back to China has its bumps, said Zweig. For one, many Chinese come home with expectation of getting jobs immediately. When they don’t, they form a demographic clog that earned another sea analogy: hai dai, or “seaweed.”Returnees are diverse, said Zweig. Beginning in 1991, he has interviewed or studied academics, scientific researchers, entrepreneurs, master’s degree (and M.B.A.) students, undergraduates, executives, professionals, and government officials.Academics go abroad to get “good platforms” for advancement upon their return, said Zweig, but then they often refuse to write for domestic academic journals.Some scientists return, attracted by China’s “Hundred Talents” program and other incentives, but then they burden systems already top-heavy with full professors, he added.Entrepreneurs are attracted to the idea that even ordinary Western technology can lead to profit in China. And they like the idea of China’s high-tech, low-tax enterprise zones. (Zweig called them “one-stop chopping” zones — that is, places where paperwork — “chop” — is reduced.)Then again, entrepreneurs are also disappointed at the lack of start-up capital in China, and their homeland’s weak protections for intellectual property.Some master’s degree students abroad come home and are jobless “seaweed” for up to a year, said Zweig. But worse, they may be the victims of diploma mills and third-rate universities — especially in Great Britain.Master’s students may also come home with few economic advantages. They will make $200 a month more than those who stayed in China, he said, but their families take on $20,000 or more in debt for one year of overseas study.There are other burdens on families, who may only rarely see their children again, said Helen Ji Li, a China-born independent researcher. Many of the students are only children like herself, she said. “It is kind of sad. Once you’ve left, the parents have no other children in China.”Zweig acknowledged the great financial sacrifice families make. But in households with more than one child, he said, study abroad is also “a diversification of risk and opportunity.”One fact emerging from the data, said Zweig, is that returnees always argue for more openness in China, but they remain indifferent about political action.Still, he said, their influence will be felt politically one day.After all, the biggest benefit of returnees may be the worldliness and cultural diversity they bring, said Zweig. “They’re greatly increasing China’s international flavor.”last_img read more

Growing number of mentally ill Dutch choosing to be killed at euthanasia clinic

first_imgLifeSiteNews 7 August 2015 A growing number of Dutch patients whom their family doctor is not willing to euthanize, including many who are mentally ill but otherwise healthy, are obtaining “help” at the End-of-Life Clinic that opened its doors in 2012, according to half-year statistics just released by the private organization based in The Hague, Netherlands.In the first six months of 2015, almost as many cancer patients were killed by euthanasia at the hands of the clinic as during the whole of 2014: a total of 49 from January through June 2015, as compared to 53 in 2014.Nineteen psychiatric patients obtained euthanasia from the End-of-Life Clinic from January to June 2015: one more than in the whole of 2014, when 18 psychiatric patients who were not dying or otherwise in bad health obtained death from the Clinic.Compared with national euthanasia statistics – about 5,000 a year in the Netherlands – these numbers may seem insignificant. But they underscore growing pressure on the part of euthanasia activists to make access to “chosen death” more easy to obtain, especially for those patients whose suffering is not associated with intolerable pain or a terminal illness.The End-of-Life Clinic was created three years ago by the Dutch Association for a Chosen End of Life (Nederlandse Vereniging voor een Vrijwillig Levenseinde, NVVE), with a view to catering for patients who fall within the recognized categories for legal euthanasia, but whose doctor is either unable or unwilling to honor their request.The clinic’s offices are in The Hague but euthanasia is provided by 40 mobile teams who are expected to work within the limits of the law, mostly for patients who are in a hopeless situation but not terminally ill, dementia patients, people with psychiatric disorders and elderly people suffering from multiple but non-fatal complaints. They kill patients in the “comfort” of their own homes.The fact that the End-of-Life Clinic can exist in the Netherlands was certainly helped by an ever-widening interpretation of the legal criteria for “careful” euthanasia – inversely, its existence is attracting more and more people to take avail of its services and in turn is causing the legal criteria to widen even more. read more

Football News Adrien Rabiot suspended for a month by Paris Saint-Germain for visiting nightclub

first_imghighlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Paris: Paris Saint-Germain outcast Adrien Rabiot has been suspended until the end of the month for a reported outing to a nightclub after last week’s Champions League loss to Manchester United. The French international midfielder is in open dispute with PSG and has not played since mid-December after failing to agree a new contract. According to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, Rabiot was punished for a nightclub visit after PSG were knocked out of the Champions League by United. But also for ‘liking’ a video posted on social media by former Man United player Patrice Evra celebrating the win in the stands at the Parc des Princes.  “Adrien Rabiot has received a letter suspending him,” a source told AFP.“I find unacceptable the attitude and lack of professionalism of a player like Adrien Rabiot towards the club, his teammates and the fans,” PSG sporting director Antero Henrique said on RMC Sport, referring to the night out. “Remember up to June 30, 2019 he is part of our squad.” Rabiot told Infosport on Thursday that it wasn’t him “who had chosen this situation. It’s not a choice that I’ve made”.  He added: “I’m available, everything’s fine, I’m in great shape. If I could play…. but the (club) management have decided otherwise.” Asked by Infosport for his feelings after PSG’s latest European failure Rabiot said that it had made him feel “bad”. “I’m still a player at the club despite what they can say. I’m still under contract. I’m behind my teammates, of course it was disappointing.” Relations between Rabiot, who has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona, and PSG have broken down, with the club ordering him to train with the reserves. In January he appealed to the French League’s legal committee, claiming that PSG’s decision to banish him goes against the “professional footballer’s charter”, with the league finding in his favour. Paris Saint-Germain lost to Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League.Rabiot has been linked to Barcelona and Manchester United.Rabiot has been training with Paris Saint-Germain reserves.last_img read more