Dr. Ishwaran Attending Symposium of SAFEA to Commemorate Deng XIaoping’s Remarks


The State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA) convened a symposium on 10 July 2013 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Mr. Deng Xiaoping’s Remarks on Introduction of Intellectual Resources from all parts of the world to the economic and social development of China. Senior members of The Party Literature Centre of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCPC) were present at the meeting. Mr. Wang Nai, Former Administrator of SAFEA, Mr. Leng Rong, Director General, The Party Literature Research Center of the CCCPC and Mr. Zhang Jianguo, Administrator of SAFEA presented remarks on this landmark occasion.

On 8 July 1983, Mr. Deng Xiaoping, in his address to leading Members of CCCPC, stressed the importance of making full use of the “intellectual resources of other countries by inviting foreigners to participate in key development projects and other construction projects in various fields.” He emphasized that “China provides a huge market, so many countries wish to develop cooperation or do business with us. We should seize this opportunity. It is a matter of strategic importance.”

Dr. Natarajan Ishwaran, the first international expert recruited by HIST/AIR under the Chinese Government’s “Thousand Talents Program” was one among the fifteen experts invited to attend the symposium. In his speech Dr. Ishwaran noted the fact that China today is the world’s second largest economy. He quoted from excerpts of Mr. Deng Xiaoping’s speech that were circulated at the symposium: “…it doesn’t matter whether they stay here for a long time or a short time, or just a single project. Once they are here, China should make the best use of their skills.”

Dr. Ishwaran underlined the importance of matching expert skills and competencies with the needs of the Chinese institutions that invite and seek their services. He pointed out that 30 years since the remarks of Mr. Deng Xiaoping, China has developed its own skills and competencies in science and technology, heritage management and many other fields and is ready to share its own expertise with less developed nations of the world. He cited HIST/AIR’s cooperative program with Cambodia to address water management, forest restoration and human settlement issues in the Angkor Heritage Landscape of Cambodia as an example of an initiative where China is reaching out to assist the development of other countries of the world. Based on his personal experience he made suggestions for the consideration of SAFEA in order to improve information provided to foreign experts and their families who will come in the future to live and work in China.The full text of Dr. Ishwaran’s speech is available at /webResources/Flies/2013071616102896039.docx

Other representatives of foreign experts who spoke were: Mr. Danny Yu, Educational Service Exchange with China (ESED); Mr. Alistair Michie, Beijing International Public Relations, Newland International Communications Group (NICG); and Mr. William Patrick Gaspard, China Daily. All of them praised the work of SAFEA over the last 30 years and outlined priority issues that SAFEA could address to make life and work in China more interesting and attractive to foreign experts. They stressed the critical role that China plays today in the wellbeing of global economic growth and hence the importance of China continuing to pursue the advice of Mr. Deng Xiaoping in making best of use of intellectual resources from all parts of the world.

the symposium

Natarajan Ishwaran