The residents of mainland China are becoming and the surprising number came from the territory of Hong Kong with one per cent of the territory's residents left it from mid-2020 to mid-2021.
Washington: The number of Chinese and other people living in Beijing-controlled territories seeking asylum in foreign countries has surged dramatically in the past decade, which experts say indicates growing fears of Beijing's oppressive policies among its residents, a media report said.
The residents of mainland China are becoming part of an exodus as some escape persecution, while others seek new opportunities for their families in other countries to have a safer, better life and be a part of open societies, reported Voice of America (VOA). The destination of these people varies from the nearby located Taiwan to as far away as Ecuador.
The surprising number also came from the territory of Hong Kong. More than one per cent of the territory's residents, or about 89,200 people left it from mid-2020 to mid-2021, Voice of America reported citing the data from the territory's Census and Statistics Department data.
Hong Konger is fleeing the territory in the hope of a better life as from the last year China has imposed its national security law that has given arbitrary powers to authorities.
"Hong Kong's living environment seems to be deteriorating, so I am looking for a better place where I can live a happier life," resident Edwin Lai told VOA at an immigration fair in Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong's living environment seems to be deteriorating, so I am looking for a better place where I can live a happier life," VOA quoted Hong Kong resident Edwin Lai as saying during an immigration fair.
Referring to the new laws implemented by China in the territory, Edwin said that therethere are a lot of restraints implemented in many areas, from freedom of speech to education. There are also many restrictions.
The territory's citizens are heading to Taiwan in large numbers, as per the data from Taiwan's National Immigration Agency.
Kacey Wong, a visual artist, said that she had to leave Hong Kong to have an independent voice. The artist stressed that nobody wants to live in a territory where fear is constantly rising.
Over 10,000 people moved from Hong Kong to Taiwan in 2020, the most on record and nearly doubled the number from 2019. Such relocations continued in 2021, with more than 5,000 in the first seven months of the year, reported VOA, citing Taiwan's National Immigration Agency.
Britain is also Hong Kongers' choice for asylum as more than 65,000 territory's citizens applied to move there in the first half of 2021.
A Beijing-based artist, Hua Yong, is seeking asylum in Canada. He was arrested and detained several times in China as his videos of people being evicted documented the suffering of some of the poorest Chinese citizens. Hua said that he was put in jail for years and persecuted by the government because of his works. So, I had no choice but to leave my homeland.