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Where is China Going?


The "third wave" of emigrants is composed largely of wealthy Chinese who are lured by favorable immigration policies and investment opportunities in Western countries. According to a Forbes China report, more than one-fifth of the top ten million wealthiest people in China plan to emigrate. Asked whether they plan to send their children abroad to study, three-quarters of this same group said yes. Another study of high net worth Chinese, conducted by China Merchants Bank and Bain Capital and reported by The Diplomat, found that more than half were planning to emigrate. One of the top reasons for entrepreneurs to emigrate appears to be insecurity due to lack of rule of law and lack of regulated business norms in China. Other factors include concerns about air pollution and food safety, children's education, and their own retirement plans.

The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the top emigrant destinations. However, Chinesewhether actually emigrating or relocating long-term abroad for employment purposesare moving in increasing numbers to other countries as well. China's significant investment on the African continent has been well documented. Of the estimated 750,000 Chinese who have already moved to Africa, nearly half are in South Africa. Substantial numbers are also found in Angola and Nigeria. Each year some 75,000 more continue to arrive in Africa.

Communities of Chinese entrepreneurs are found across Europe. Likewise a mix of contract workers, small entrepreneurs and professionals from China can be found in the Middle East.

Along with this wave of Chinese going abroad for economic reasons are Chinese Christians who are leaving in pursuit of a missional calling, finding their role in taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Dr. Luis Bush and I explore this phenomenon in China's Next Generation: New China, New Church, New World, available as a free PDF download from ChinaSource or in Kindle format on Amazon.

Brent Fulton

Brent Fulton

Brent Fulton is the president of ChinaSource and the editor of the ChinaSource Quarterly. Prior to assuming his current position, he served from 1995 to 2000 as the managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College. From 1987 to 1995 he served as founding US director of... View Full Bio