Emigration Booms in China despite Economic Development
Despite its fast developing economy, China has experienced a trend that more and more of its social elites are moving out of the country.
Recent statistics released by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Coucil show that more than 45 million Chinese are now living overseas, making the country the largest supplier of immigrants worldwide.
Chen Zhe has more.
As one of over seventy agencies providing immigration services in Beijing, the Pacific Immigration Consultant Company helped around one hundred families emigrate to Canada last year.
Its manager Zhu says the majority of emigrants are professionals and financially successful groups. He tries to explain why they are looking to move abroad in spite of the recent spectacular economic development in the country.
"They move abroad for a better education system, better social benefits, better natural environment and so on. Some are also looking to expand their own business. Some, including those skilled workers, move abroad to avoid the fierce working competition and high living cost - such as the skyrocketing housing price in China."
In 2009, around 25,000 skilled workers went to Canada, while 65,000 of them moved to the U.S and 16,000 to Australia.
A report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2007 says that China has become the largest supplier of immigrants to other countries.
Li Xiaoli, author of the report, says the trend is only natural given the background of globalization.
"As a result of globalization, the movement of talent has become more popular. Not only Chinese people go abroad, but more and more foreigners come to China to study, to work and start businesses. There are some expatriate communities in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Yiwu, Beijing and northeast China. "
However, many experts also worry that China will experience a brain drain as its most talented human resources, as well as capital, are being driven out of the country.
From 1978 to 2006, more than one million Chinese students went abroad to study, with only 275,000 of them coming back.
Vice Chairman of the China Western Returned Scholars Association Wang Huiyao says it's crucial for the government to attract overseas Chinese to return.
"For developing countries, especially China, we need high-level talents. China needs to create a better environment to attract them back, to provide them equal treatment even if they are not within the system. We need to make some mechanism to facilitate their movement, even start recognizing dual citizenship. "
Experts add that as China has become more open and freer in terms of how and where its citizens choose to live their lives, it's also important to establish an immigration system for foreigners who want to stay in the country.
For CRI, I'm Chen Zhe.