Let’s hear it!

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/2/7 18:53:39

Foreigners in China invited to share their opinions and suggestions with central government

China's State Council is currently asking foreigners who live, work, study or travel in China or who do business with Chinese companies from abroad for their opinions and suggestions about the country's governmental policies.

The results, collected on the State Council's homepage, will be given directly to Premier Li Keqiang to help shape the 2017 Report on the Work of the Government, which will be released during the Two Sessions (annual National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference) in March.

Foreigners wishing to participate in this project can visit the State Council website at:


Foreigners patrol along the Bund in Shanghai. Photo:CFP

Foreigners patrol along the Bund in Shanghai. Photo:CFP

Inspired by this occasion, the Global Times decided to also solicit the feedback of expatiates in Shanghai about their life here, their concerns for the city, and what social improvements they would like to see happen.

Ambra Schillirò, marketing director of Social Cloud

With the local property market growing so fast, I would like to see more governmental control in housing rental fees. Rent seems out of control, with landlords changing prices according to their own taste with no rules. For example my rent was raised by 1,300 yuan ($190) two years ago. I think the government should keep an eye on rent and put regulations in place.

Jonathan Seliger, CEO of naked Hub

I've been in China for nearly 27 years, having first come to Beijing as a student in 1990. Since then I've also lived in Hong Kong and now Shanghai, so I've actually spent the majority of my life in China! I'd like to explore becoming a permanent resident. Shanghai, as the commercial and financial hub of China, is a terrific place to start and build businesses, whether you are a start-up or running a multinational company. Government policies are supportive to (foreign) business and the work force is qualified and getting more-and-more "international." As a long-time China resident, I am very comfortable living and working in Shanghai. For newcomers, I would suggest that the local government streamlines the residency permit process and considers longer period work permits for qualified expats, as renewing these documents each year is onerous. Of course, environment is critical to attracting top talent (foreign and domestic) to Shanghai, so the government should continue to invest in improving air/water/food quality issues that seem to be on everyone's mind these days.

Marceau Chenault, Anthropologist of Sport, East China Normal University

I started to work at East China Normal University in 2009. I came to Shanghai because of my interests in cross-cultural exchanges between European and Chinese cultures in the field of body and health education. I met my wife in Shanghai and we are living here now with our daughter. When my wife became pregnant, we were a bit stressed for our baby about air pollution, health security and family life quality in Shanghai. Now we are looking for a school but we don't like any educational system that uses high level fees. We are seeking a smart and careful educative community with nice relations between children, teachers and parents. Also, health insurance for expatriates is too expensive for us so we prefer to cultivate a healthy lifestyle and use Chinese traditional medicine and doctors.

Suhail Nasir, Engineer/Stand-up comedian

l think the two biggest problems are education and health, which are very expensive. The days when foreigners had huge expat packages are gone, yet the local market has not adjusted to this. Many of my friends who have families had to leave Shanghai due to these expenses. The other improvement which I would like to see is permanent residence for foreigners. Many expats who spend years working in China are still dependant on their employer for a visa, which makes it difficult for professionals to freely develop careers here.

Joseph Westwood, mathematics teacher

I've been in Shanghai for six years. If I we're allowed to become citizens of China, I would consider it, but we're not allowed to, so I'll probably not live here forever. I'll have to move to another country where I can retire. Here, if foreigners don't have a job, we'll be asked to leave. The food in Shanghai is good and the transportation is okay. If there was an English-language taxi app, that will be very helpful. In terms of air pollution, since last summer it has been much better than it was. If pollution stays always below 100, that'd be great.

Andy Lewis, English teacher at Shanghai American School

I'm leaving this year, but I have to honestly say that I truly love China and Chinese people, and it's been a marvellous eight years for me. It's amazing that China has done so much to help so many people. It's a wonderful, miraculous country full of very friendly people. I've seen improvements in the transportation system throughout the course of years I've been here, the air quality seems to be better than it was four years ago. And it's just wonderful to see so many people in China being able to be part of the domestic economy and be able to buy disposable goods and have enough income to truly be able to have a middle-income standard of life. It's amazing that the city is this large yet works so well for so many people. But I do wish I didn't see so many people outside on the streets begging; I wish there were places for these people to go, where they can stay warm and be taken care of.


blog comments powered by Disqus