Top science awards to include foreigners to attract global talent

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/27 21:37:30

China's top science awards are expected to include foreigners, according to a draft regulation on the State science and technology awards.

By making award winners more diverse, China hopes to get more global talent to contribute their scientific and technological knowledge to the country's development, experts noted.

The draft regulation, which was released on Tuesday for public opinion, says the award can be granted to any individual, not just to Chinese citizens, which experts say will give foreigners a chance to win the awards.

China's departments will strengthen future cooperation to get foreigners to enjoy the same rights as Chinese in China's science awards, reads a statement released on the Ministry of Justice website on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has submitted the draft to the State Council for review. The current regulation has been in effect since 1999.

Relaxing the nationality restrictions on the science awards shows an increasingly open and confident China. Science should not be limited by nationality, Xie Zhiyong, a law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

It fulfills China's notion of building a community with a shared future for humanity, according to Xie.

If foreigners are qualified for the science awards, that can be regarded as a broader version of China's "Thousand Talents Plan," which is aimed at attracting more talent to contribute to China's scientific and technological development, He Jijiang, director of the Policy Research Office of Tsinghua University's Energy Internet Research Innovation Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The Thousand Talents Plan, which was initiated in 2008, has helped attract 6,000 leading Chinese scientists, academics, and entrepreneurs living abroad, as well as foreign-born scholars, to China over the past decade, the Thousand Talents Plan website said.

Song Guoyou, director of Fudan University's Center for Economic Diplomacy, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the draft solves the awards qualification issue for foreigners who have been actively involved in China's science and technology projects.

The aim of the legislation is to "implement an innovation-driven development strategy and serve the goal of making China a world science and technology power," the statement said.

The draft regulation applies to five awards. These are the State Science and Technology Top Award, National Prize for Natural Sciences, National Award for Technological Invention, National Award for Science and Technology Progress and China International Science and Technology Cooperation Award.

To improve the quality of China's state science and technology awards, the draft also adjusted the number of awards and award categories. 

Chinese citizens should not worry about facing more competition if the awards include foreigners, since those awards are given proportionally, He said.

The number of the awards for the National Prize for Natural Sciences, National Award for Technological Invention, National Award for Science and Technology Progress was reduced from 400 to 300. 

The China International Science and Technology Cooperation Award is limited to 10 people, the statement shows.



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