Chinese Terminology: Sea Turtles
Updated 16:18, 17-Dec-2018
By Wang Qiwei, Sun Zhifu
Sea turtles are born on sandy beaches, and make their way to the ocean after they hatch. And that's the term used to describe some of China's brightest overseas talents, who are turning down the opportunities abroad to make a splash back home. 
"Hai gui", which means "overseas returnee", has the same pronunciation as “sea turtle” in Chinese. Four decades ago, China carried out overseas study programs alongside its reform and opening-up process.
The country experienced steady economic growth in the late 90s, and a large number of overseas Chinese students decided to head home to heed the calling. They brought back advanced skills and expertise, making their mark in industries including energy and agriculture. 
At that time, “sea turtles” were a rarity and their overseas experience helped them to hold senior positions. Today's sea turtles face much tougher competition. 
As China's middle class has grown richer, it's become a common thing for students to go abroad to study. 
Statistics show the number of “sea turtles” reached a new height last year, exceeding 480,000. But these returnees, of course, are finding new ways to stay competitive.
CGTN's special series “Chinese Terminology”, which was launched on November 26, marks the 40-year anniversary of the country's reform and opening up program. The episodes, hosted by CGTN anchors Jeff Moody and Jonathan Betz, are being aired every day at 20:15, 12:00 and 16:00 BJT. Click on the link to find out more about this amazing shift for China's economy...