This paper examines the changing appeal of patriotism and nationalism in the civic consciousness of Chinese intellectuals shaped by the notion of a global knowledge economy. It investigates the career aspirations of scientists and IT professionals returning from overseas study in the US and argues that the famous motto of intellectuals during the 1980s – “Science does not have national boundaries but I (the scientist) have the nationality”, is losing its appeal. Scientists and IT professionals are acknowledged as knowledge-workers and are valued in nation building. At the same time they have the freedom to not return home by virtue of a global demand for their services and attractive skilled-migrant schemes in a number of western countries. In examining recent policy changes by the Chinese government to recruit scholars of Chinese origin studying and working overseas, the paper discusses the Chinese government’s response to the “brain drain” and how it has sought measures to ensure growth in its national knowledge capital.
Recommended CitationKeane, M. and Lin, Q., Patriotism is not enough: Chinese intellectuals and the knowledge economy, Asia Pacific Media Educator, 11, 2001, 164-179.