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Executive Summary In the 1970s, the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC)* began to resume the educational and scientific exchanges that had been interrupted more than two decades earlier. Private American institutions, as well as the federal government, responded quickly and enthusiastically to the renewed ties and set up many diverse programs. Among people in both public and private life in the United States, there was a conscious recognition, or in some cases an intuitive sense, that the dramatic economic, social, and foreign policy experiments occurring in China would affect Americans. This sense of the importance of the current historical juncture in China has provided much of the impetus to the rapid growth in Sino-American academic exchange. Today, educational and scientific exchange between the two nations far exceeds anything that was foreseen in the 1970s and constitutes one of America's largest and most rapidly growing academic relationships. Multiple official, bilateral agreements link the two countries, and a complex web of public and private arrangements offers extensive oppor- tunities for exchange. The scale of Chinese society, the rate, breadth, and direction of change there, and the inherent value of scholarly inter- action here and in China all should command the continued close spe- cial attention of both the public and private sectors in the United States. Educational and scientific exchange are and probably will remain piv- *In this study, the terms China and People's Republic of China (PRC) are used inter- changeably.

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2 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED otal to America's relationship with the PRC. America's ties to China assume added importance given the United States' rapidly increasing economic, intellectual, and strategic stake in the entire Pacific region. P~NCIPAL FINDINGS The United States has become a major partner in the PRC's educa- tional and scientific development. In the decade following the 1979 normalization of Sino-American diplomatic relations, more students and scholars from the PRC will have studied in the United States than did so between 1860 and 1950, when approximately 30,000 came here. About 50 percent of all PRC students and scholars currently sent abroad are coming to the United States. This influx of young and increasingly well-prepared Chinese suggests that the PRC will feel the effects of today's scholarly exchange for decades to come, particularly if China succeeds in providing a suitable intellectual climate for those' who return. Part of this impact will result from the sheer number of PRC Chinese who are coming to the United States. Roughly 19,000 PRC students and scholars came to the United States in calendar years 1979 through 1983. During academic year 1983-1984, there were approximately 12,000 PRC students and scholars in America; two-thirds of them were stu- dents. This figure represents only 6 percent of the total number' of students from Asia studying here, and only about 2 percent of all for- eign students in America. Nonetheless, between academic years 1981- 1982 and 1983-1984, the number of PRC students grew much more rapidly than did the overall foreign student population in America. This trend is likely to continue. For the PRC, academic exchange with the United States now plays an important role in its quest for modernization. The students and scholars who have come to the United States since 1979 have worked in fields that reflect the Chinese government's emphasis on science and technology as keys to modernization. Approximately two-thirds of all PRC students and scholars who hold ]-1 visas (persons generally spon- sored by the Chinese government after rigorous selection procedures) were in engineering, physical sciences, computer science, health sci- ences, life sciences, and mathematics. A little more than one-half of these students and scholars were in the physical and life sciences alone. In comparison, in academic year 1983-1984, fewer than 8 percent of all foreign students in the United States were studying the physical or life sciences. Relatively few PRC Chinese, however, have come to the United States to study management, agriculture, social sciences, or the

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3 humanities. This situation reflects both the availability of American funding and Chinese priorities. Among PRC students who are F-1 visa holders (persons generally in the United States under private arrange- ments), a slightly higher proportion studies the humanities and manage- ment than is true for "-us." The majority of PRC Chinese students and scholars who come to the United States are from urban areas along China's coast, particularly Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong Province. Of those who arrived in 1983, a disproportionately small number came from the four large provinces of Anhui, Henan, Shandong, and Sichuan and the five auton- omous regions. These administrative units account for almost 40 per- cent of China's population. These and other inland areas are eagerly seeking external ties, presenting new opportunities to American institu- tions that want to broaden the reach of educational and scientific exchange with the PRC. Upon arrival in the United States, the PRC students and scholars are dispersed relatively uniformly across much of the country, although there are concentrations of them in New York and California. The rapid growth in the number of PRC students and scholars on American campuses is due in part to the willingness of American col- leges and universities to assume a substantial share of the costs. These institutions, using funds from a multitude of sources, paid over 40 per- cent of the estimated costs for PRC students and scholars issued ]-1 visas from 1979 through 1983. During this same period, the percentage con- tributed by the PRC government declined from about one-half the estimated cost in 1979 to about one-third in 1983. This percentage, however, is still far higher than the proportion of funding that most foreign governments provide for J-1 students and scholars. The significant expenditures by American universities reflect several factors. PRC J-1 visa holders have proved academically competitive in winning financial support, particularly in the physical and life sciences, where extensive teaching and research assistance is required. Moreover, in the United States, some of the technical fields of high priority to the PRC have adequate funding but an inadequate number of qualified American students. Thus, many American institutions have welcomed the opportunity to support highly competent and highly motivated stu- dents from the PRC in these fields. About 100 American colleges and universities have formal exchange agreements with Chinese institutions, many of which were signed in the initial postnormalization rush to establish linkages of all descriptions. The proliferation of agreements also reflects the decentralized nature of American higher education and of American university administration,

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4 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED the entrepreneurial character of American academics, and- the diver- gent motives of various constituencies within these institutions. For Chinese university and research institute leaders, these agreements offered a way to circumvent the slow central bureaucracy in Beijing, to overcome the hard-currency shortage, and to gain visibility for their institutions. Many of these agreements are inactive or moribund. None- theless, many agreements have worked very well, and these relation- ships should be strengthened. The advantages of some interinstitutional ties should be recognized: they give Americans entry into many differ- ent areas and types of institutions in China, they are flexible, and their reciprocal nature creates incentives for the Chinese to respond to Amer- ican academic needs and desires. Together with interinstitutional agreements, the many national-level exchange programs provide the flexibility to meet the needs of diverse constituencies. Sponsors of these programs include the federal govern- ment, private organizations, and scholarly and professional societies. Pluralism is one of the greatest strengths of the Sino-American educa- tional and scientific relationship. According to rough estimates by official Chinese sources, more than 3,500 American students and scholars went to the PRC to study or conduct research from 1979 through 1983, the majority for short-term language study. Of those who have conducted research in China, about two-thirds have been in the social sciences and humanities. Because American scholars' interests have been concentrated in these fields, access to Chinese society, as well as to archives, research institutes, and museums has been critical in the exchange relationship and not with- out problems. There has been improvement since 1982, as scholars have been given somewhat greater access to archives and permitted to con- duct limited survey research and interviewing. Nevertheless, many American scholars who might otherwise have gone to the PRC to under- take research have been discouraged by restrictions and difficulties. Natural scientists have encountered similar problems in securing access to field sites, particularly when they sought to collect and remove speci- mens. Academic exchanges with China have affected fields of study within the two nations differently. In the United States, exchanges have had the greatest effect on Chinese studies. In China, the impact has been most apparent in scientific and technical fields. This simple dichotomy, however, obscures significant American contributions to economics, law, and, increasingly, the other social sciences in China, and also masks the contributions of China to the natural sciences in the United States (e.g., agriculture and cancer epidemiology). Even in fields such

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 5 as physics, where most technical information flows from the United States to China, American programs have benefited from the infusion of exceptionally talented PRC students and scholars. There is every reason to believe that the overwhelming majority of PRC students and scholars holding J-1 visas have thus far returned to their homeland upon completion of their work in the United States. Their successors probably will continue to do so as well, provided job opportunities in China remain attractive and the current "open" policy continues. These students and scholars generally are older, married, and either employed or enjoying secure employment prospects in China. An unknown, but undoubtedly much smaller, percentage of PRC students who are in the United States on F-1 visas will return home. These students younger, less advanced in their careers, and frequently unmarriedmay lack the bonds that tie the J-1 visa holders to their homeland. Whether these trends will continue depends on economic conditions in the United States and in China, on the types of visas issued to PRC students and scholars, and on feedback about how well the skills of returnees are being used. For the PRC, the effects of academic exchange extend beyond train- ing some of its most promising students and scholars. Over the last decade, exchanges have exposed China's educational, scientific, and political leaders to Western and American institutions. As reform has proceeded, the Chinese have considered an increasing range of institu- tional possibilities in the educational and scientific realms, although the leadership is aware of the dangers of indiscriminate borrowing from abroad. Whether or not Western institutions are appropriate models for the PRC, the expanded range of choice alone seems of great significance as Beijing's leaders tackle their natiorl's special problems ISSUES AND DIRECTIONS FOR THE FUTURE Following is a list of eight issues and trends that now are affecting Sino-American academic relations or will do so in the future. 1. Americans and Chinese should focus upon quality and responsive- ness in the exchange relationship, giving each nation's best students and scholars access to programs and resources that meet their needs. Strict numerical reciprocity, once the watchword, is thus not a useful concept, since the two societies are at very different stages of economic, scien- tific, and technical development and do not seek the same objectives from exchange. The PRC wants to train large numbers of its citizens in the United States, while Americans' scholarly interests in China have

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6 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED generally focused on language training, individual research, and teach- ing. Nonetheless, a relationship in which the Chinese are responsive to American needs is critically important. For a more productive scholarly relationship, Americans must have greater access to China's research materials in the natural, social, and cultural environment and would benefit greatly from increased access to Chinese scholarly conferences. To make the best use of this access, Americans must also improve their Chinese language skills. As they ask for greater access to China, Ameri- can institutions of higher education should continue to assure PRC stu- dents and scholars the same access to information on campus that all other members of the university community enjoy. American universi- ties should not become instruments for the enforcement of export- control regulations. America is best served by its universities when information is exchanged freely. 2. University and college exchange activities should be encouraged and supported: they offer different but complementary advantages to national programs, such as responsiveness to local needs and flexibility. America's academic ties gain strength from their pluralism. For some American universities and colleges, interinstitutional agreements with the PRC are excellent channels through which faculty and students may gain access to China while at the same time making both American and Chinese campuses more international in character. Although many such agreements have not realized their full potential, consortia-like arrangements among American institutions with complementary needs and interests might revitalize their ties with the PRC. Funding should go to the most promising of these cooperative programs. 3. Although many images of China are held in the United States, that of the nation as a developing country is gaining increased currency. Arising naturally from this perception has been the increased involve- ment of American private and public educational and philanthropic institutions in economic change in China. As this report notes, applied science and agriculture are two of the areas in which Sino-American exchange should be further strengthened. Generally, the United States government supports cooperation in these fields in developing countries through its foreign-assistance programs. Which agency or agencies are most appropriate to support Sino-American cooperation in these fields is a decision fittingly left to others. Private American philanthropy has become extensively involved in providing grants to Chinese libraries and universities for faculty, disciplinary, and institutional development. This should promote increased opportunities for mutually beneficial collaborative undertakings in the future.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 7 4. The United States must recognize that involvement in China's development effort carries certain risks. If this involvement is taken to extremes or is engaged in without great sensitivity to China's past expe- riences with the West, there could be a backlash. Inevitably, future internal debate concerning the course of China's development will focus on the costs and gains of foreign involvement in China and on how these relate to the social, political, and economic inequalities that arise with economic change. The issue of maintaining China's cultural identity will be ever present. 5. American funding agencies should continue to support American scholarship in China and about China, should continue to support pro- grams to help the American public better understand China, and should increase support for Chinese language study. Past investments have proved invaluable. In the 1970s, both the U.S. government and private American institutions were able to move rapidly to establish and consolidate extensive ties with China because major human and finan- cial investments had been made in Chinese studies during the 1960s and 1970s. Given today's rapidly expanding opportunities, there is an even greater need to enhance our capacity to understand and deal with China by maintaining the Chinese studies infrastructure of libraries, Title VI language and center grants, and opportunities for research and language study in the PRC, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Furthermore, American schools and funding agencies should sustain programs for Chinese language study at the undergraduate and grad- uate levels, target funds on students and on institutions that perform well, and encourage the promotion of disciplinary incentives that reward persons who maintain and improve language skills. Efforts also should be made to determine the utility and cost-effectiveness of Chi- nese language instruction at the secondary level. 6. Institutions in both the PRC and the United States should make further investments in training Chinese students in the humanities and social sciences (particularly American studies, international relations, and law), management, library sciences, and agriculture, recognizing that some of these disciplines are culture-bound. To date, only a rela- tively small proportion of Chinese students and scholars have come to the United States to study in these fields. Progress in these disciplines, however, will affect, in varying degrees, the success of China's eco- nomic strategy and the capacity of our two societies to interact effec- tively. 7. The PRC government's official stipend level should be increased to enhance the learning experience, language acquisition, and physical

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8 A RELATIONSHIP RESTORED well-being of PRC students and scholars in the United States. The level should approximate current figures listed in the Institute of Inlterna- tional Education's annually updated publication, Costs at U.S. Educa- tional Institutions. Parity with these levels is being required by an increasing number of American institutions. An increase in the official stipend level also is desirable to eliminate inequities now arising when universities do not enforce general foreign-student support levels for PRC students. American institutions of higher education should assure that these levels are maintained. This recommendation is aimed at both improving the experience of PRC students and scholars in America and reducing the problems on campuses that arise when foreign students arid scholars have insufficient financial support. 8. Change in China is creating new possibilities for study, coopera- tive and multiyear research, applied-science cooperation, and Ameri- can involvement in PRC education. Given the diversity of America's academic ties with the PRC, national leadership is needed in order to assess emerging exchange opportunities, to monitor trends in the rela- tionship, to mobilize economic and intellectual resources, and to focus attention on the issue of access. Therefore, there continues to be a need for an institution such as the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China (CSCPRC) that has performed these functions in the past.