Chinese government has attached a continuous importance to accepting and teaching foreign students and has regarded it as an important aspect in China's communications with the world. Over the past years, China has developed a set of systematic Chinese approaches to the educational administration of foreign students, and has thus produced and trained a great number of excellent sci-technological, educational, diplomatic as well as management personnel for many countries, especially the developing countries, and this has contributed positively a lot to developing and cementing China's relations with other countries in politics, foreign affairs, trade and economy. It has also contributed to China's cultural, educational and personnel exchanges with foreign countries. During the 50 years between 1949-1999, the total number of foreign students admitted by Chinese universities has amounted to 350 thousand coming from over 160 countries. Among them, about 83 thousand came on scholarship offered by Chinese government while 270 thousand on self financed basis. Since January of 1997, China Scholarship Council has undertaken the responsibility of admitting and administering foreign students studying in China on government-financed basis and meanwhile looking after any other duties related to the study of foreign students in China.
After the opening and reform policy in China, a brand new era was ushered in for foreign students to take their study in China. For the 21 years between 1979 to 1999 alone, there were 342 thousand or so foreign students who came to China for study, to which, those students coming to China between 1992 to 1999 contributed a specially prominent contribution due to a conspicuous lift of China's general power and its international status throughout those years which attracted many more students from foreign lands than any time before. During these seven years, the students on self financed basis to China also increased a lot in their number and therefore has turned to be the majority of all foreign students in China ever since.
Based upon relevant educational agreements with other countries, the Chinese government offered scholarships to 152 countries all over the world in the year 1999, and there were a total of 5,211 foreign students studying in China on scholarship basis in this year, of whom 46.09% were from Asian, 27.56% from Europe, 21. 80% from Africa, 3.78% from America and 0.77% from Oceania. And, in 1999, there were also 39,500 self-financed students who had been admitted by Chinese colleges and universities through diversified channels.
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