Documents that The Epoch Times recently obtained show how the CCP strictly controls the Chinese students who have returned from studying abroad. The CCP uses the “European and American Alumni Associations” in a number of cities and provinces in China and has the students serve the CCP’s Belt and Road initiatives and civil diplomacy.
The European and American Alumni Association is an organization that consists of overseas students. The Central Committee leads it and the United Front Work Department manages it. The official website shows that the European and American Alumni Association currently has 42 local organizations, 15 national and regional branches, and 220,000 members. There are seven special working committees and seven professional committees.
In the document that The Epoch Times obtained, Liu Shuhua, a member of the Standing Committee of the Henan Nanyang Municipal Party Committee and Minister of the United Front Work Department spoke at the inaugural meeting of Nanyang European and American Students Association held on October 27, 2019. Liu stated that the association should “… continue to expand its membership … further establish contacts with overseas students, experts, scholars, entrepreneurs and people from all walks of life, … attract more overseas students to return to China to start businesses in Henan province, … implement the decisions from the central, provincial, and municipal party committees, and take the work of overseas students as a new focus for united front work.”
In August 2016, the General Office of the Central Committee issued the “Opinions on Strengthening the Development of the European and American Alumni Association.” The “Opinions” show that the first major role of the European and American Alumni Association is to “establish a database of returned overseas students and receive timely updates about the returned overseas students.” Then it is to “create a think tank including the overseas students. Finally it is to use these people to carry out civil diplomacy and serve the Belt and Road initiatives.
A separate document that The Epoch Times obtained contains a list of 343 returned overseas students in Nanyang city of Henan province. They are currently working in colleges and universities, scientific research institutes, medical institutions, party and government agencies, financial institutions, and private enterprises. The list contains detailed information including their names, current employment and positions, date of birth, ethnicity, hometown, academic degree, political status, number of years on the job, countries where they have studied, institutions and majors, years of study, the year of their return to China, their social position, home address, contact information, and more. Also, among the 343 names, 129 are Communist Party Members.
Source: The Epoch Times, August 14, 2020