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Expats impressed by China’s economic growth and innovation, China Daily survey reveals

Updated: Oct 17,2017 4:17 PM

China’s economic growth and technological innovation are the country’s most impressive achievements in the last five years, according to a survey of expatriates.

The survey, compiled by China Daily and the Communication University of China, was aimed at gathering views and opinions from expats on China’s development in the past five years since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012. A total number of 2056 expatriates participated in the survey.

“The word ‘innovation’ comes to my mind when I look back … China will see things change at an even faster pace in the next decade,” said Colin Speakman, one of the respondents, who has lived in China for over 14 years.

High-speed trains and mobile payment methods topped the list of China’s “Four New Greatest Inventions”, while foreign students from 20 different countries put high-speed trains on the top, followed by online shopping, mobile payment and bike-sharing. Of the total respondents, 45.48 percent were impressed by high-speed trains, while one-third voted for mobile payment options like Alipay and WeChat Wallet, followed by bike-sharing and online shopping options.

Speaking of the scientific achievement over the past five years, the top five ranked by expatriates are Chinese supercomputers (16 percent), launch of the world’s first quantum satellite (14.9 percent), Tu Youyou becoming the first Chinese to win the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology (13.6 percent), world’s largest radio telescope Tianyan (8.9 percent), creation of ‘man-made sun’ in quest for limitless energy via nuclear fusion (8.2 percent).

Among the interviewed expats, 53.1 percent and 52.9 percent believe that the lives of the Chinese people have improved most in career and education respectively, while 20 percent believe that China’s medical coverage and housing standards have also risen.

If given the choice of China’s-version of US’ “green card”, 42.7 percent of the expats would accept it for China’s great development potential, while 20 percent would accept it as provides day-to-day convenience.

Should foreigners be able to integrate some aspects of China’s life with that of their own home country, 58.4 percent of respondents hoped to bring home the hospitality of the Chinese people, 53.2 percent of them wished they could return home with Chinese products, and 49.5 percent with Chinese food.

Expatriates are optimistic about China’s future. 58 percent of the interviews are most hopeful in China’s technological advancements and 46.8 percent believe that China’s global standing will only continue to rise. These fields are followed by cultural growth, environmental protections, the well-being of the people, stable political climate, and social harmony.

Mirza Nasir, a foreign student at Nanjing University of Science and Technology, said, “I was surprised by how China is becoming an economic powerhouse, especially by its high-speed trains, sharing economy, and the convenience of mobile payments.”