[Epoch Times August 07, 2021]Since the implementation of the “Hong Kong version of the National Security Law” for one year, Hong Kong is now facing another wave of immigration. At present, many countries have launched “lifeboat” plans to relaxHong Kong people emigrate. On August 5, U.S. President Biden had just signed a memorandum allowing residents in the U.S. and Hong Kong to extend their stay for 18 months, providing a temporary safe haven for those in the U.S. and Hong Kong.
In this wave of immigration of Hong Kong people, middle-class families with children have become the main force. Then let’s talk about the impact of this wave of immigration on Hong Kong.
Various countries launch a “lifeboat” plan, thousands of Hong Kong people emigrate overseas
Let’s take a look at the memorandum that Biden has just signed. In the memorandum, Biden said that the United States supports the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Hong Kong residents. Therefore, he instructed the Department of Homeland Security to implement an 18-month period for current residents in Hong Kong. “Deferred Enforced Departure” (Deferred Enforced Departure), and eligible Hong Kong residents can also apply for employment in the United States.
Last month, the Biden administration had just put seven Chinese Communist Party officials stationed in Hong Kong on the sanctions list. At the same time, it also issued a warning to American companies and their employees that the situation in Hong Kong was “deteriorating.” Business guidance documents.
What was the reaction of the Chinese Communist Party? A person familiar with the matter revealed a few days ago that in response to pressure from the United States and Europe on human rights, trade, and technology issues, the CCP also plans to introduce a new law in Hong Kong and Macau, similar to the CCP’s rapid adoption in June this year. The Anti-Foreign Sanctions Act.
After the implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, many countries have already introduced “lifeboat” plans to relax the immigration conditions for Hong Kong people. A survey conducted by Deutsche Welle found that the United Kingdom and Canada currently welcome Hong Kong immigrants the most, followed by Australia, and the United States and Germany have also opened the door of asylum to Hong Kong people.
Among them, the United Kingdom began to implement the “5+1” visa program on January 31 for the holders of the BNO in the British National Overseas Passport. BNO Hong Kong residents can bring their family members to live, study or work in the UK for 5 years, after which they can apply for permanent residency, and can be naturalized in the UK after living for another year. According to reports, the British government has received more than 34,000 applications for the BNO “5+1” visa program in the first quarter, of which 7,200 applications have been approved in the first two months.
With the increase in the number of departures, Hong Kong International Airport has been shrouded in a feeling of parting since July, because the British government announced earlier that Hong Kong citizens holding BNO passports who apply for immigration to the UK should leave before July 19 In Hong Kong, you can apply for a Transitional Permit (LOTR) when you enter the country. Starting from July 20, you will have to obtain a visa before you can enter the UK. Therefore, thousands of people hope to leave Hong Kong before July 19 to catch up. The “last flight” to the UK.
In March of this year, the Hong Kong Institute of Public Opinion released a poll report, which showed that 21% of respondents plan to leave Hong Kong permanently. That is to say, one in five Hong Kong people wants to immigrate. If calculated on the basis of Hong Kong’s total population of 7.5 million, the number of possible immigrants will exceed 1.5 million.
andHong Kong immigrationThe direct impact of the tide is the outflow of talents and capital.
Statistics show that the population of Hong Kong dropped to 7.474 million last year, a decrease of 0.6% compared with the previous year. This was mainly because Hong Kong experienced a natural negative population growth of 6,700 people for the first time and a net emigration of nearly 40,000 people, and related population losses were also recorded. The record high in 35 years is more serious than the immigration wave triggered by the June 4th Incident.
In addition, immigration applications require a “Certificate of No Criminal Record” commonly known as a “good citizen certificate.” According to statistics, in the first five months of this year, the Hong Kong Police Force received 15,707 applications for “Certificate of No Criminal Record”, the number has reached 54% of the total of last year; and in May, it reached 3,923. It is a new high in the past 4 and a half years.
At the same time, data from the Hong Kong Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority shows that in the third quarter of last year alone, 8,100 people withdrew money on the grounds of permanent departure, totalling HK$1.7 billion; In the second quarter, a total of 6,000 people withdrew HKD 990 million.
Hong Kong schools have been hit hard and the future impact is hard to estimate
As you all know, Hong Kong has experienced immigration waves in history, for example, in 1989 and 1997. Is there any difference between this wave of immigration and the past?
The difference is that if Hong Kong people immigrated in the past because they were uncertain about their prospects, they are leaving now because they are very sure that the implementation of the “Hong Kong version of the National Security Law” will have a negative impact on Hong Kong’s freedom or the next generation. Therefore, in addition to young people in their 20s and professionals with savings, middle-class families with children are the main force in this wave of immigration.
Many Hong Kong people said that emigrating overseas mainly does not want children to continue studying in Hong Kong, because the school does not have the same academic atmosphere as before, and they worry that their children will not have freedom of thought and speech, and they cannot accept that their children will be brainwashed by national security education and accept the CCP. Lies instill and distorted values.
In fact, what parents are worried about is already happening. In February of this year, Hong Kong education officials issued instructions requiring kindergartens to conduct patriotic education, and then teach children to abide by the “Hong Kong version of the National Security Law” that was implemented last year. . Later, a compulsory high school course-“General Education”, was also revised to “Civil and Social Development”, which will be implemented in September. At the same time, at least three universities-Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Lingnan University will implement national security education from September. Students must attend courses, lectures and seminars on China and Hong Kong’s development.
It is precisely because of this that this wave of immigration has had a particularly severe impact on Hong Kong’s school education.
Let’s take a look at a set of data. A Hong Kong project “UKHK” has conducted a questionnaire survey on the Internet since June. As of June 21, a total of 1,012 people have been interviewed, 97% of whom are currently in the UK or are planning to move. In the United Kingdom, 63.5% of the respondents said that they would travel with their children, and nearly 60% of the accompanying children were elementary school students; among Hong Kong residents who immigrated to the UK, 13.2% of the respondents said that they would take their parents to the UK, UKHK estimates, On average, there is an elder in every 5 families immigrating to the UK.
Statistics from the Hong Kong Education Bureau show that in the 2020 to 2021 school year, about 19,300 students will drop out of local and international primary and secondary schools, accounting for about 3% of the total number of students, almost double the 10,400 in the previous year. And with the decline in enrollment, some schools are also facing funding challenges.
In addition to students dropping out, many teachers have also left their jobs. The results of a questionnaire survey released by the Education Association in early May showed that among the 1,178 teachers and principals of middle schools, elementary schools, kindergartens and special schools in Hong Kong, about 40% of the respondents (474 people) intend to leave the education sector in Hong Kong, of which 71.1% Interviewees said that “increased political pressure” was the main reason for leaving.
It can be seen that after the implementation of the “National Security Law”, teachers are also facing increasing political pressure. Not only must they adapt to the changes in the new curriculum, they must also be very careful when selecting news and discussing topics, because they are worried about receiving anonymity. Political complaints.
According to media reports, teachers who teach in primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong have reported that sometimes there will be Guoan in plain clothes, observing the teachers at the school’s flag-raising ceremony. A teacher said that she happened to wear a black skirt and clothes that day, and was immediately called into the room by plainclothes Guoan for questioning. Some teachers also said that the principal of the school is better. The day before, they reminded the teachers that they should dress brightly tomorrow and have Guoan to observe everyone. Some teachers say that teachers are also forced to receive “National Security Education”, which is as uncomfortable as being brainwashed.
In July, the Hong Kong Secondary School Principals’ Association also submitted a suggestion that schools are facing serious teacher losses under the immigration tide. It is recommended that the Hong Kong government “listen carefully to the voices of Hong Kong people, understand the reasons for Hong Kong people’s immigration, and formulate appropriate policies to restore Hong Kong.” People’s confidence” and said that a large number of students emigrating overseas or going overseas to study abroad will have an incalculable impact on Hong Kong’s future.
Hong Kong’s economy deteriorated and competitiveness declined
In addition, Hong Kong’s economic situation is also deteriorating. Agence France-Presse reported that the people’s disappointment with the Hong Kong government not only stems from its bowing to Beijing, but also from the inability to solve the sky-high property market in Hong Kong and the inability to alleviate the gap between the rich and the poor. Although Hong Kong’s per capita GDP is approximately US$48,000, and among Hong Kong’s population of 7.5 million, billionaires have risen by 48% in five years, exceeding 5,000, and there are also 280,000 millionaires. However, in the two years since 2019, the number of Hong Kong households with a monthly income of no more than US$1,170 has doubled, approaching 150,000, and many people are cutting back on food and clothing. The unemployment rate in Hong Kong also climbed to 7.2% at the beginning of this year, which is a new high in 17 years, and has since dropped. At present, the average waiting time for social housing is 5.8 years, which is 12 months longer than when Carrie Lam took office.
In addition, according to the International Management Development Institute (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, this year’s latest issue of the World Competitiveness Annual Report, among 64 countries or regions in the world, the top four are Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands, while Hong Kong Its competitiveness has dropped from fifth place in the world last year to seventh place this year, which is lower than Singapore, which ranks fifth, and second in Asia. Hong Kong and Singapore are both small open economies. In 2017, Hong Kong’s total competitiveness still ranked first in the world, but it has been surpassed by Singapore since 2019.
In this report, Hong Kong’s ranking in terms of economic performance has plummeted since 2019, and this year is only ranked 30th in the world, while Singapore tops the list. In terms of government efficiency, Hong Kong’s “social framework” ranks far behind, ranking only 34th. The “Social Framework” scoring items include population ageing, political stability, social cohesion, freedom of speech, Gini coefficient, and so on.
In addition, a survey conducted in early July showed that Japanese companies’ confidence in Hong Kong’s economy has also begun to waver. Among the more than 600 Japanese companies in Hong Kong surveyed, 56.5% of the respondents were “The implementation of” feels “very worried” or “worry”, an increase of 5.7 percentage points from the April survey. Among them, 25.5% of companies considering reducing or withdrawing Hong Kong investment.
For many Hong Kong people who have immigrated overseas, leaving their relatives and hometown is a difficult decision. Some people describe this hurried departure from Hong Kong as “political difficult.” Although many people are not personally persecuted by politics, they see Hong Kong. Losing the rule of law and freedom, and do not want the next generation to receive brainwashing education under the “National Security Law,” they can only leave Hong Kong reluctantly. For many elderly people who cannot leave Hong Kong with their children and grandchildren, they may also be full of worries about their future lives.
Of course, the CCP, which is concerned about power, has never paid attention to the sufferings of the people. From Xi Jinping’s “July 1” speech, Beijing’s attempt to completely rectify Hong Kong will not be changed because of Hong Kong’s immigration. I continued to sing well about Hong Kong. Chief Executive Carrie Lam even said that Hong Kong has unlimited opportunities and now is the best time. Although it is not clear what this “best moment” refers to, in the case of brain drain and student immigration, the immigration tide does bring about two changes to Hong Kong. First, immigrants will be eliminated from the labor force, so Hong Kong’s The unemployment rate has fallen to 5.5% for four consecutive months, which is almost close to the level at the beginning of last year. Second, because student immigration has reduced the number of candidates, this year may be the easiest year for Hong Kong to enter universities.
Fortunately, Hong Kong people are still able to go, and for mainlanders, the way to go abroad is getting harder and harder. Two days ago, the CCP stopped issuing passports on the grounds of the epidemic and closed the door to go abroad for private purposes. However, what worries some people is that China, which has closed its doors today, may be Hong Kong tomorrow.
Editor in charge: Lian Shuhua