Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wealthy Chinese want to leave

This is not sustainable. The wealthy people of China want to leave their country; many already have. Could oppressive policies of the Communist leaders of China be motivating them? Yes, they say.

They can only have one child. They have to stifle their opinions. It is not "the land of the free." And they are worried about protecting their assets. Translation: they know their authoritarian government can arbitrarily take their assets. In China one cannot buy property, but only a 70-year lease, according to the article. And its leaders are known for favoritism - favoritism to the relatives of the most powerful leaders. How do you compete with one of them?

Houston Chronicle

... Despite more economic freedom, the communist government has kept its tight grip on many other aspects of daily life. China's leaders punish, sometimes harshly, public dissent and any perceived challenges to their power, and censor what can be read online and in print. Authoritarian rule, meanwhile, has proved ineffective in addressing long standing problems of pollution, contaminated food and a creaking health care system.

"In China, nothing belongs to you. Like buying a house. You buy it but it will belong to the country 70 years later," said Su, lamenting the government's land leasing system.

"But abroad, if you buy a house, it belongs to you forever," he said. "Both businessmen and government officials are like this. They worry about the security of their assets."

But it's beyond individual freedom and wealth. They are also worried about social unrest.

... There is also a yawning gap between rich and poor in China, which feeds a resentment that makes some of the wealthy uncomfortable. The country's uneven jump to capitalism over the last three decades has created dozens of billionaires, but China barely ranks in the top 100 on a World Bank list of countries by income per person.

Getting a foreign passport is like "taking out an insurance policy," said Rupert Hoogewerf, who compiles the Hurun Rich List, China's version of the Forbes list.

"If there is political unrest or suddenly things change in China — because it's a big country, something could go wrong — they already have a passport to go overseas. It's an additional safety net."

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