In spite of the meteoric rise of China in the world, more skilled professionals are leaving its shores than ever before. They are opting for freedom and less stressful lives in countries such as Australia, United States and even the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, a New York Times report says.
The daily quotes Chen Kuo, a 30-year-old mother from Beijing: "It's very stressful in China — sometimes I was working 128 hours a week for my auditing company," Ms Chen said in her Beijing apartment a few hours before leaving. "And it will be easier raising my children as Christians abroad. It is more free in Australia."
Critics of China's development pattern have always said that unhealthy working conditions and extremely long hours, coupled with an aging population may apply brakes on its frenetic pace of growth. Other critics of the paradigm also blame Beijing and its communist leadership of total neglect of ecological and environmental conditions and hold Beijing responsible for disregarding the country's traditional moral and social fabric.
The report said, "In 2010, the last year for which complete statistics are available, 508,000 Chinese left for the 34 developed countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That is a 45 percent increase over 2000."
Political and social uncertainties, the report said, was affecting not only the middle class but also the rich and the poor.
"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty and risk, even at the highest level — even at the Bo Xilai level," the report quotes Liang Zai, a migration expert at the University at Albany. "People wonder what’s going to happen two, three years down the road."
"The sense of uncertainty affects poorer Chinese, too. According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, 800,000 Chinese were working abroad at the end of last year, versus 60,000 in 1990. Many are in small-scale businesses — taxi driving, fishing or farming — and worried that their class has missed out on China's 30-year boom. Even though hundreds of millions of Chinese have been lifted from poverty during this period, the rich-poor gap in China is among the world's widest and the economy is increasingly dominated by large corporations, many of them state-run," the report says.
Many social scientists have, over the years, questioned China's inequality and its privileged people's blind aping of western material culture sans the political, social, personal and religious freedoms guaranteed in the western systems.