Shanghai’s long shutdown by Beijing has caused food shortages and protests, prompting many to flee China where their livelihoods and lifestyles can change at a moment’s notice.
In China, schools have been closed and exams have been canceled, including assessments for applying to American universities.
Alan Li says he no longer sees any future for his family in China
Mr. Li is frustrated by the fact that his son’s expensive bilingual education has mostly been online for the past two years. He is also very concerned about Beijing’s tightening oversight of his son’s curriculum.
It is a waste of our children’s youth,” Li said.
Having a fairly comfortable income, he has been able to take advantage of a European investment scheme that allows him and his family to reside in Hungary.
Using a slang phrase meaning to relax, he said, “Many people know that if they sold all their assets, they could lie flat in a European country.”
Censors in Beijing have sought to suppress the discussion of people leaving China, prompting Internet users to refer to the phenomenon as “running”.
During Shanghai’s shutdown, WeChat searches peaked for the term.
Furthermore, Beijing has tightened exit policies for Chinese citizens as more people consider ways to leave.
Outbound travel has been banned for all “unnecessary” trips. The issue of renewing passports has been put on hold as authorities blame the possibility that Covid might be carried into the country.
The Immigration authorities issued just two percent of passports in the first half of 2021 compared with the same period in 2019.
A woman who emigrated to Germany said she has received dozens of messages from Chinese people seeking advice on how to escape.
Emily, who wanted not to use her real name, tried to help a relative obtain a passport to take up a job in Europe, but their application was denied.
She said it is like being a child who wants to go to a friend’s house to play, but the parents won’t let them.
She said that passports are sold for up to 30,000 yuan ($4,500) on the black market.
Travel Documents and Passports Being Denied
According to the Post, a Chinese freelancer was turned away by immigration officers while attempting to travel to Turkey for work last October, despite having checked in.
Upon reviewing his itinerary, they found it too suspicious and took his passport into an office, where 15 minutes later they said he did not meet the requirements” for leaving.
It was “absolutely insane,” he said.
A few weeks later, he managed to leave by entering Macau on a different travel document, then catching a flight to the mainland.
Beijing’s increasing controls during this pandemic have disenchanted many people in China.
Lucy, a 20-year-old student at an elite Beijing university, said, “I just don’t want the government interfering in my personal life crudely.”
According to her, the virus policies in China have enabled the government to regulate and monitor everything.
Perhaps we should look elsewhere and create a better life, instead of accepting and adapting to this system of oppression in China.