Global Times | No radical change in Chinese migration trend despite pandemic


China’s overall international migration trend won’t see a radical change despite the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly harsh environment, said analysts, after a Chinese think tank released a report on Tuesday saying that Chinese migration has grown steadily in recent years.

The China International Migration Report 2020 report was jointly published by the Center for China and Globalization and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. It outlines the characteristics and development of China as the third largest source country of immigration in the world.

The US, Japan and Canada remained to major destinations for Chinese migrants in 2019, with Australia overtaking South Korea to become the fourth most popular place.

It estimated there are 11 million Chinese migrants worldwide, accounting for 4 percent of the total number of international migrants in 2019, according to United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

China’s international migration trend will remain steady in the coming years, and current frictions between China and some of its major destination countries, such as the US and Australia, will not fundamentally change migrants’ choices, analysts said.

These destination countries’s worsening relationship with China is not likely to cause much change on their immigration policy against China, Li Qing, director of Talent Research of CCG, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

He noted that the major obstacle for Chinese immigrants is the potential hostility and racism from local people due to worsened bilateral relations.

Li, who participated in the research for the report, believed that incoming US president Joe Biden would be more open to Chinese immigrants than President Trump, but he added it could become a norm for the US to impose restrictions on the mobility of Chinese talents, especially in the field of cutting-edge technology.

The report predicts the development of world migration in the post-pandemic era, which will see a significant shrink due to limits on cross-border movement.

Anti-immigration sentiment has been strengthened amid the pandemic in some Western countries, where the immigration issue has become an important topic that politicians resorted to shift the focus away from domestic issues, such as unemployment and social unrest, the report shows.

However, Li believed the temporary downturn caused by the pandemic will not have a great impact on China and the world for too long.

“The overall long-term development of China’s migration will keep following the pace of globalization. The demand of migrants might be subdued for now, but it won’t go away,” he said.


From Global Times , 2020-12-23