In 1997, Hong Kong witnessed its historic return to China. Now, 20 years later, many locals in Hong Kong, instead of finding the anniversary a cause for celebration, are finding the nearby island state, Taiwan, a much preferred destination to live out their lives, according to Hong Kong media.
Chan Siu-yu, 26, a former Hong Konger now living in Tainan, a southern city in Taiwan, told BBC Chinese in an interview:
“In Hong Kong, you have a hard time seeing the future regardless of what you do. If you have a job, you are unlikely to be able to afford a house after 10 or 20 years.”
Before moving to Taiwan permanently, Chan had multiple jobs in Hong Kong — coffee bartender, cram school teacher, and leather item maker. But she began to think seriously about her future after taking part in the Umbrella Movement, a pro-democracy in Hong Kong in 2014.
“In Taiwan, if I work hard for 10 years, I can afford to buy a house for myself.”
Chan was just one of many Hong Kongers who had a wish to live somewhere else. According to a survey published by The Chinese University of Hong Kong in October 2016, nearly 40 percent (38.9 percent) of respondents showed a willingness to emigrate if they had the opportunity.
Topping the areas where those inclined to emigrate was Taiwan (16.3 percent), followed by Australia (15.2 percent) and Canada (13.8 percent). For many Hong Kongers who were attracted to the idea of settling down in Taiwan, they weren’t worried about the future of Taiwan — whether it would be like China one day, according to Chinese news site Secretchina.
They pointed out how young Taiwanese are more outspoken, and they will surely make their voices heard to safeguard their interests. Finally, Taiwanese people have the right to vote, which puts them in a position to influence their government’s policies.
Hong Kong has seen a drastic increase in its wealth because of globalization. The generated wealth, however, has ended up in the pockets of a select few, as the general public failed to see an improvement of their standard of living.
The gap in wealth distribution and social polarization are major problems that regular Hong Kongers see the special administrative government has failed to tackle. Additionally, they see the government fails to address two urgent issues — their financial and housing burden.
All of these have made regular people in Hong Kong unhappy, which results in their inclination to settle down elsewhere, especially in Taiwan.
Original Chinese article
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