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Xi urges overseas-educated talent to pursue Chinese dream

Chinese President Xi Jinping gives a speech at the 100th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the Western Returned Scholars Association in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 21, 2013. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called on overseas-educated talent, whether at home or abroad, to contribute to realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

Xi made the remarks at the 100th anniversary of the Western Returned Scholars Association.

The government supports students and scholars studying abroad, encourages them to return to China, guarantees them the freedom of coming and going, and supports them in using their talents, Xi said while addressing the ceremony attended by about 3,000 people.

The Communist Party of China and the government respect the choices of the students, Xi said. "You are warmly welcomed if you return to China. If you stay abroad, we support you in serving the country in various ways."

Xi said he hoped the students would remain patriotic, integrating their own achievement with national development.

Scholars are encouraged to use their advantages to promote exchange between China and other countries so that China can gain more understanding and support from the world, he said.

Xi also called on scholars to serve as a talent pool, think tank and a vital force in people-to-people diplomacy.

"Chinese overseas-educated scholars will continue to play a vital role in promoting the country's transformation into an innovation-driven economy in the next three decades," said Wang Huiyao, vice chairman of the association.

It has been more than 100 years since China began to send students and scholars to study abroad. They have made great contributions to the revolution, building and reform of China.

In 1978, China expanded the number of students sent to study abroad. By the end of 2012, 2.64 million had been sent abroad, among whom 1.09 million returned.

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