China’s Elites Are Rushing for the Exits

Travelers wait in line at a check-in counter at Kunming Changshui International Airport, Kunming, China, March 22, 2022 (AP photo by Dake Kang).
Travelers wait in line at a check-in counter at Kunming Changshui International Airport, Kunming, China, March 22, 2022 (AP photo by Dake Kang).
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A growing number of Chinese middle- and upper-class citizens are seeking to emigrate, citing disillusionment with Beijing’s heavy-handed “Zero COVID” pandemic restrictions. The sense of despair and desperation driving their planned departures stand in contrast to the overwhelming sense of optimism that characterized public sentiment during China’s rise as a global power over the past two decades. On the Chinese social media platform WeChat, search entries for the word “immigration” increased more than fourfold between early and mid-April, the Economist reported. “It’s like an alarm bell has gone off,” said Miranda Wang, a Chinese videographer based in Shanghai, where a seven-week […]

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