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Emigration of China

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In this essay, I’ll talk about why many Chinese people want to emigrate. Aside from what the officials and the “experts” say, what do the relatively ordinary Chinese people think about the problem? Patriotism seems to lose its impact on this problem.

What’s the Circumstance Now?

According to the data from the UN’s report in 2020, there are approximately 272 million Chinese people in total who have emigrated to western countries in the past century. In contrast, meanwhile, there are less than 30 thousand foreign people who have emigrated to China.

What caused the colossal distinction?

The answer is too evident to say from many Chinese people’s mouths, who have an unbreakable faith in patriotism.

Many Chinese experts say that the people who have emigrated will eventually “regret” their decision, nonetheless, the reality is the opposite that those who emigrated will never come back and even the next few generations of people won’t come back either. Sarcastically, some of the experts themselves have already emigrated.

Why Do People Want to “Escape”?

To answer the question, let’s see a group of data in the first place. I’ll make a comparison between Denmark and China. The data is from Our World in Data.

GDP per Capita ($)5582016316
Life Expectancy (years)81.478.2
Population (Million)5.851430
Annual Working Hours14002174
Teachers’ Annual Salary[1] ($)5217726243
Tertiary Education Enrollment Ratio82.79%43.39%
Medical Doctors per 1000 People4.131.98
Medical & Health PolicyCompletely FreeProrated Reimbursement
Engel Index[2]14.930.5
A simple comparison between Denmark and China.

OK, we’ve made the comparison. It is obvious that Danish people live a much better and easier life than Chinese people and that’s the main reason why there are so many Chinese people who want to emigrate. Denmark is just a quintessential instance, there are many more countries alike.

As a part of mankind, most people’s aspirations are living a better life and trying to create better conditions for the next generation. Within the process, the environment is a very significant factor, and in most cases, emigration is to optimize the living environment of individuals, while in some cases, people emigrate to earn more money.

What Impacts Does Patriotism Have on Emigration?

In Chinese special social conditions, patriotism plays an essential role when people are inclined to emigrate. In this case, patriotism is more analogous to a sort of narrow-minded nationalism.

The experts and some invisible power are spreading the terrible idea that it is “not patriotic” to emigrate and they regard emigration as a behavior that betrays the nation. People are required to believe that “we are always better than these foreign countries” while the experts who spread the mindset themselves have already emigrated, which is very sarcastic.

Currently, the tendency is more and more tilted to the left side people don’t even have a clear cognition of foreign countries’ living conditions. The invisible power doesn’t want people to get to know all these things.

A Glance: What Does an Ordinary Person Think about Emigration?

Encountering naturalized overseas Chinese is quite common when abroad. Once during a business trip to a tranquil Nordic country, I met a partner who was the chief scientist of a company. He and his spouse had immigrated and were living in a villa, driving a luxury car, and had three children with a very comfortable lifestyle. While chatting in the car, I asked why they chose to naturalize and live there. The answer was simple: they didn’t like the intense pressure in China to hurry and complete tasks at every age. I asked if returning to China would be difficult now, and he replied that it wasn’t too bad and that obtaining a visa for China was quite easy.

Some people assume that where you are born, you should naturally love that place. However, this is quite domineering and illogical, as where you are born is not something that you choose for yourself. Therefore, I think it’s only natural to not like a place and, if you have the ability, to live in a place that you do like.

—— Vincent Miniz (First published on Zhihu using Chinese, translated by ChatGPT)

I think my reason for immigrating is mainly for some spiritual reasons. Life in China was good, but I felt exhausted.

But in Canada, if you want to work overtime, you need to apply in advance and have it approved. To prevent comparisons between children, many schools prohibit wearing certain brands to class. When it comes to traveling abroad, everyone’s income is about the same, and they usually go to similar places, so there’s not much to compare. As for houses and cars, everyone takes the subway to work, so no one cares what kind of car you drive. The houses are all about the same, so there’s nothing to compare either.

Therefore, living abroad just feels more relaxed.

—— Yong Yuan Qishi Meiduoyuan (First published on Zhihu using Chinese, translated by ChatGPT)

I am actively pursuing immigration, and in my opinion, buying a house in Beijing is not as good as buying a villa abroad. My personal view is that I want my future generations to stop wasting time on things other than their dreams.

—— Sijia Li (First published on Zhihu using Chinese, translated by ChatGPT)

I have been in Canada for more than two years after immigrating.

I think, for Chinese people, it’s a comparison and balance between the level of love for the place where you were born and grew up and the degree of dissatisfaction with it.

For example, I love our cultural heritage, manners and etiquette, beautiful scenery, cuisine, and language. But I don’t like the current social atmosphere, education, pollution, prices, wealth gap, and the psychological problems of the public caused by rapid development and other issues. After weighing the pros and cons, I chose immigration for the happiness and well-being of my family.

I still love my motherland, but I prefer the place where I currently live.

—— Limao (First published on Zhihu using Chinese, translated by ChatGPT)

Conclusion: What Do I Think of Emigration?

In my point of view, emigration is more like a great dream. I am still studying in China, and though my family is just enough wealthy to send me abroad reluctantly, I do need to consider carefully the consequences.

My English is not bad and it is the best subject that I can get almost the highest score in my school. From this point, I seem to have satisfied the basic condition of emigration.

My aspiration is, maybe it is very boring and realistic, to live a better life in the world and create a better condition for my progeny. I treat emigration as an easier way to achieve aspiration.

Emigration is a way of life to some extent and we can’t judge it absolutely. It is all about a simple personal decision, regardless of patriotism.

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1The annual salary of teachers represents the education expenditure of a country. In particular, the data for China in the table is the teacher salary in Beijing, which is the highest value in China, while the data for Denmark is the national average.
2Engel index is the proportion of total food expenditure to total personal consumption expenditure. The poorer the life, the greater the Engel index, and the richer the life, the smaller the Engel index.
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SheepChef Blog

Emigration of China
In this essay, I'll talk about why many Chinese people want to emigrate. Aside from what the officials and the "experts" say, what do the relatively ordinary Chinese people think about the problem?