The great exodus from China: Under Xi Jinping, asylum seekers number shoots up over 600,000

Edited By: Nikhil Pandey WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jul 29, 2021, 02:30 PM(IST)

Ethnic Uyghur demonstrators take part in a protest against China, in Istanbul in October 2020. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) figures, the annual number of asylum seekers from China increased from 15,362 to 107,864 between 2012 and 2020. 613,000 Chinese people have applied for asylum in another country since Xi Jinping gained power at the end of 2012.  

Thousands of people escaped China's cultural revolution in the 1960s. That number decreased as the country stabilised.

However, the number of Chinese nationals leaving the country to settle in another country is fast increasing once more.

Also read: China’s rich are leaving the country in drove

According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) figures, the annual number of asylum seekers from China increased from 15,362 to 107,864 between 2012 and 2020.

613,000 Chinese people have applied for asylum in another country since Xi Jinping gained power at the end of 2012.  

Watch | Gravitas: Chinese citizens are fleeing Xi Jinping's rule

In 2020, about 70% of them applied for asylum in the United States. Many people come on tourist or business visas and then apply for asylum.

Watch: Human Rights Day Special | How can China be held accountable for human rights abuses?

Many wealthy Chinese are fleeing China in search of better educational opportunities and to escape the country's dirty cities and oppressive regime.

They also want to keep their money safe. 

According to leaked records, Yang Huiyan, China's richest lady, is one of 500 affluent Chinese people who have earned European Union (EU) citizenship by acquiring a "golden passport" in Cyprus. 

Human rights defenders and anyone has seen to be dissidents have been targeted by Xi Jinping's leadership, as has systematic suppression of ethnic minorities. 

At the United Nations, China was chastised and urged to grant immediate, meaningful, and unrestricted access to Xinjiang.

Restrictions on freedom of expression remained in place unabated.

Foreign journalists were subjected to detention and expulsion, as well as visa renewal delays and denials. 

China has rapidly expanded its global influence in recent years, bolstering its military and technological capacities while becoming more intertwined in the economies of countries worldwide. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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