At a press conference on September 20, China’s Ministry of Education pointed out that 80% of Chinese students studying abroad have chosen to return to China for development since 2013. In 2020, This number will increase by 33.9% compared with 2019.

On September 24, The Wall Street Journal also reported that more and more Chinese scientists and engineers have given up jobs in top universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and MIT to return to China.

According to the Asian American Scholar Forum, in 2021, more than 1,400 Chinese scientists in the United States will return to China.

Many scholars said that the increasingly contentious politics between the U.S. and China is one reason for this trend.

In the past, many Chinese scientists chose to stay in the United States because of the good research environment and high salaries. But since 2020, the epidemic and the arrest of some Chinese scientists under the pretext of endangering the security of the United States have put much pressure on many Chinese scientists.

He Liwei, a doctorate in nuclear engineering who worked for Boeing, said that after the tension between China and the United States, he was not voluntarily returning to China but was forced to return.

He added that repatriates or residents would not be allowed to go out or go to the laboratory if the Chinese government ordered it. Some scientists were even ostracized by their Chinese colleagues. 

These scientists who have returned from the United States may not find their ideal jobs, and their career prospects are worrisome.

He Liwei pointed out that it would be meaningless to return to China alone because high-tech R&D must require a team and good equipment and software.Li Jinghua, an assistant professor, said that China’s universities, including postgraduate education, are very rigid. It is challenging to cultivate innovative talents.

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