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A New Lure

New regulations in China aim to encourage foreign scientists to work in the country by widening eligibility for permanent resident status, ScienceInsider's Mara Hvistendahl reports, noting that some say that the research culture and tax laws may deter researchers from taking advantage of the program.

These permits were previously restricted to those taking advantage of the Thousand Talents scheme, which was launched in 2008 to attract scientists and entrepreneurs. Most researchers, Hvistendahl writes, enter China on annual work permits or tourist visas. Under the new regulations, the eligible talent programs have been widened to include more than 55 additional programs, she adds. Most of the programs are city or provincial-level, but a few Chinese Academy of Sciences programs like the One Hundred Talents plan are included.

However, Hvistendahl speaks with some Chinese science policy experts who say that the lack of tenure at Chinese institutes and a research culture shaped by personal connections may discourage foreigners.

"I don't think that the visa is a critical issue," a US-based scientist who works as a visiting professor in China during the summers tells Hvistendahl.

"I would feel very insecure if I were to take a professorship in China and give up my professorship here," he adds.

Another expert notes that China taxes residents on worldwide income, which may also dissuade people from becoming residents if they retain positions at other institutes such as in the US or the UK.